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Page last updated at 09:34 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 10:34 UK

US chain drops 'terror scarf' ad

By James Coomarasamy
BBC News, Washington

Rachael Ray in a Dunkin' Donuts advertisement
Dunkin' Donuts said there was a "possibility of misperception"

The US chain Dunkin' Donuts has pulled an advert following complaints that the scarf worn by a celebrity chef offered symbolic support for Islamic extremism.

The online advert for iced coffee featured the well-known US television chef Rachael Ray.

She was wearing a black-and-white checked scarf around her neck that resembled a traditional Arab keffiyeh.

This fashion choice incensed at least one prominent conservative blogger, who said it evoked extremist videos.

The blogger, Michelle Malkin, called the garment "a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos".

Stylist's choice

Other criticism followed and the coffee and doughnuts chain has now decided to drop the advert.

Fashion statements may seem insignificant, but when they lead to the mainstreaming of violence - unintentionally or not - they matter
Michelle Malkin

In a statement, Dunkin' Donuts said the silk scarf had been "selected by Rachael Ray's stylist and that no symbolism was intended.

"But given the possibility of misperception the commercial was no longer being used."

This has caused a fair amount of consternation in some quarters but the conservative blogger at the centre of the row has praised the decision.

"Fashion statements may seem insignificant, but when they lead to the mainstreaming of violence - unintentionally or not - they matter," Ms Malkin has written.

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