Page last updated at 17:23 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 18:23 UK

'Extremist' scarf advert: Your views

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. BBC News website readers have been sending us their views.

Your comments

The black and white scarf is part of the traditional attire of the Palestinian, Lebanese, Jordanian Arabs. The same way the red and white scarf is for Saudi, Omani, Bahraini Arabs. This is like saying that UPS should change its brown uniform because it pleases the Hitler Youth.
Fuad Khan, Dallas, USA

I've had the misfortune of hearing Mrs. Malkin's comments in the past. Reality is not her friend. Intent on shocking her right-wing fringe audience, she displays a remarkable ignorance that simply defies explanation. I'm horrified that she receives so much attention. Can we please move on to the bigger issues at hand? Such as why Mrs. Ray's image appears to advertise deep-fried bread and sugar at a time of record child obesity?
Kim R, Toronto, Canada

I am amazed by the reaction of the Dunkin' head office, is that what it takes to push around a multi-million dollar corporation? I think there are a few oil companies we should try to blog about...
Vitali, Houston, TX, USA

This story does not represent America. We too realize the absurdity of Dunkin Donuts caving in to a right wing conservative's false fears.
Candace, Detroit, USA

Quite possibly this is the most exposure the Palestinian cause has ever received in the mainstream media in the US. Sadly, the debate has been brought forth by a fatty-food distributor and a little known conservative pundit.
Christian Di Meo, Boston, USA

Does this mean we can no longer eat falafel sandwiches & hommus?
Mansoor Ansari, USA

To the rest of the world: we're not all this way, I promise. I'm pretty certain no one will confuse Rachael Ray with an Islamic extremist because of her accessories. I think we should all hold our news agencies (including my beloved BBC) responsible for making a story about a scarf and a chick with a blog this important. Let's get our priorities straight.
Jyl, Tennessee, USA

I think the BBC should remove this story as it perpetuates the stereotype that Americans are xenophobic, Islam-hating idiots. Although it's great to see the intelligent and articulate comments from our cousins in the US that prove this stereotype is by no means accurate.
Will, Billericay, UK

I am a Seventh-day Adventist minister and theologian. I have a black and white checked scarf. I got it in Jordan. I've worn it in Berrien Springs, where I live and work. Is that okay for Ms Malkin? Should she contact the folks in Berrien Springs, MI and have them put surveillance on me? There is probably something to be more outraged about. But this is quite close to the top of ignorance on the part of one or some, and cowardice on the part of others.
Lael Caesar, Berrien Springs, MI USA

This blogger got exactly what she wanted... attention and page visits. I hope she found it worth losing any credibility she may have formed with her existing audience.
Chris Fane, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

The Keffiyeh has represented the Palestinian cause and liberation struggle for a long time. It has nothing to do with the Islamic movements. In fact, the opposite may be true, Islamic movements may link themselves to the keffiyeh to get more sympathy and more followers. Moreover, recently it became a fashion style in Europe. It is another mis-conception of the American folks.
Bassel, Mississauga, Canada

A 'traditional Arab keffiyeh' is not checked, but a solid colour, usually black or white. The introduction of a red and white check for Jordanians and a black and white one for Palestinians, came shortly after the Arab rebellions led by T.E. Lawrence. Also, Dunkin Donuts advertising readers appear to be idiots.
Luke, London

How unbelievably, shamefully irresponsible to knuckle under such iniquitous and silly intimidation!! I love our local Dunkin Donuts (owned and operated by an admirable immigrant, incidentally, whose English isn't good but everything else is tip top) and am so sad that those unpardonable wimps at Dunkin Donuts HQ force me to abandon that mututally satisfying relationship. But I feel I must refuse to have anything to do with a gutless company that acts as if we are living under the heel of some jackboot.
George Jefferys, Hamden, USA

I wonder if Yasser Arafat knew he was wearing a paisley scarf?
Bob Couttie, Olongapo, Philippines

Malkin is the donut. Malkin's blog is far more incendiary than this BBC piece suggests. The assumption that anything associated with the Arab world equates with an Islamic war of Jihad illustrates how myopic the average conservative American blogger can be. America's run by donuts.
Sandy O'Connor, Boston USA

Being a born and raised American - to a Palestinian father and American mother - I find this baffling. This just proves how much Americans are out of touch. The scarfs are in-fashion and can be found in various designer shops. I just find it funny that it's coming from a donuts and coffee shop, being a regular police hot spot. Go figure, Americans are not the brightest.
Timothy Qura, Northern Virginia

How incredibly over the top. I don't think I have ever heard something so silly. Surely the big guns they are holding in the terrorist videos are a more true representation of their intentions yet you don't see any change in gun law in the US.
Mary, Colchester

I suppose they won't ban guns on TV as terrorists use them as well?
Fen Oswin, London

Most right-wing bloggers make a living by politicizing everything and engaging in 'synthetic outrage.' It's a method of attention-getting designed to work people up. These things are virtually always complete non-issues, and this is a classic example. It is much ado about absolutely nothing. People should stop reading and listening to Malkin. She has nothing to say.
Scott, Columbus, USA

The comments here are hypocritical. Remember the KLF's painting of Big Ben exploding? People complained it was too soon after 9/11. Remember the Starbucks advert withdrawn because it looked "too much" like the plane going into the twin towers? We can poke fun at the US for their sensitivities but we have the same sensitivities here.
Pete Johnson, London, England

Brilliant! Everything that is wrong with America in a single news story. Neo-Con extremism, the inability to distinguish between 'Arab' and 'terrorist', corporate kow-towing to inarticulate ranting, and huge diabetes-inducing donuts with icing on top.
Mike, UK

When I read this I almost spit my Dunkin' Donuts coffee onto my computer screen. Come on now, a fashionable scarf on many store shelves is now a terrorist statment? Let's take a quick look at everything we should pull from the shelves then, because extremists use them in videos... cars, knives, pants, shirts, water, paint, flags, books, music, jackets, hats... It's a great shame a simple ad generates this kind of response in the USA when it is not warranted. I wish everyone would just take a step back and smell the flowers.
Jude, Hewitt, NJ USA

To say that this issue is absurd, goes without saying. Small wonder that Americans are viewed as nut cases world wide. Malkin has written a piece justifying the internment of Japanese Americans during WW2. Simply put, she embodies all that is wrong with conservative politics in the USA.
Michael Norona, Tampa, Florida USA

According to her stylist, Rachel Ray was wearing a white scarf with a black Paisley pattern. If the War on Terror has morphed into the War on Paisley Scarfs then I support the world-famous pattern with its Persian origin, which was popularised by the great textile mills of Paisley, Scotland. If you are not with us, you are against us!
Rob, Paisley, Scotland

Mention doughnuts to any of my American friends and the first thing they think of is overweight police officers, so if you suspected your target audience really was the kind of lazy cop who arrests people for little more than being the wrong colour in the wrong neighbourhood, maybe you would want her to lose the scarf.
Stuart Hartill, Ramsey, Isle of Man

I can't even fathom this. The conservative blogger needs to get a life. It is just a scarf, and doesn't have any Islamic message associated with it. I can't believe Dunkin Donuts allowed themselves to be manipulated by this kind of stupidity.
Scott Meneely, Pittsburgh PA USA

Those who complained better not come to Leeds! They are all the rage here. I never knew so many Muslim extremists surrounded me! I just thought they were typical students...
Gill, Leeds, UK

I work for a publishing company and we are using the picture of a guy in a raincoat (with his back to the readers) flashing the statue of Manneken Pis on the cover of a mag. In light of Ms Malkin's statement, I am now concerned we might run the risk of becoming the poster child for the National Exhibitionist Assocation. There could even be riots... Seriously, such decisions raise very serious questions about censorship and people's ability to think for themselves.
Nina, Belgium

I am an expat living in the Middle East, and over here almost everyone here wears the traditional Arab headscarf. The idea of banning this very headscarf in the United States because it 'symbolizes' extremism would seem very absurd, if not outright stupid, to the millions of moderate Arabs here in the Midde East.
Maaz Yasin, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

My goodness, get a grip! How does the ad "evoke extremist videos" exactly? Aren't there other, more important things to get riled about than a Dunkin' Donuts advert?
P Dub, Wellington, New Zealand

This is just another example of the extreme anti-Islamic sentiment that has been stirred up in America by the neo-conservative movement. Frankly, I am ashamed at the bigotry of the blogger named in the story, and the spinelessness of the company who pulled the ads from broadcast.
Daryl Northrop, Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Along the same lines, I suppose we should stop showing faces in all advertisements, as it is well known that all terrorists have faces. Clearly, by showing even a single face, we are also supporting terrorism. Shame on Dunkin' Donuts for submitting to the ignorant populous.
Jessica, Beijing, PRC

Look at those eyes, dark brown, very dark brown...makes you shudder. She is a terrorist ..no doubt.
Ross Bingham, New York, New York

Scarves can be a functional addition to clothing but in this case it looks a little ridiculous. American women's clothing design has shifted toward the simple and spare. Like the product it represents in the ad, it is not a basic part of the American fashion or food diet.
Clearly Thinking, Texas, USA

I would like to commend the decision to pull the ad, as it is a well known fact that these keffiyeh are said to imbue their wearers with terrorist thoughts. In order to find terrorists, one has merely to look for people wearing these scarves. It was a wondefully ironic combination while it lasted though - American donuts and an Arab scarf.
Witek, Brighton, East Sussex

What an absolutely ridiculous thing to do, I have a scarf very similiar to the one shown that I bought in Topman! I know, I'll complain that Topman supports Muslim extremists via the medium of scarves.
Mark Johns, Warrington, England

What a lot of nonsense! Terrorists wear trousers too - maybe we should all forego those lest we unintentionally indicate support.
Kate, Guildford, Surrey

Well done to the blogger. It's time mainstream people fought back against the Islamics. They are trying to make us all think that terrorism is chic. This is exactly how they do it.
Mark Williams, Milton keynes, UK




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