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Rachael Ray & Dunkin Donuts: 30 Minute Meals for Terrorists


donut.jpg *Quick disclaimer, most of the links in this article contain pictures that are not consistent with the Islamic view of Hijab

YUM-O! By now you have probably heard that a Rachael Ray ad has been pulled because it featured her wearing a distinctive black/white Palestinian headdress. Kind of hard to miss as it was all over Digg and at some point yesterday on the front page of CNN. Before getting to my own comments, let me recap some of what is being said in the blogosphere:

Let me start by expressing my anger at Michelle Malkin, not for being a biased neocon hack creating fictional drama and passing it off as relevant social news (that’s to be expected), but for ripping off my coinage of the term “Rolled up Couture” for her own “hate couture.”

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The actual story here, to me, is ridiculous. I’m not sure why everyone is getting on Rachael Ray’s case. Many people wear this, or scarves similar to it. I remember seeing an And1 streetballer wearing the same thing during a game, but he was never accused of supporting terrorism. The Dunkin Donuts official statement even says the scarf was just picked out by the stylist. Based on negative reactions to the commercial, you might assume that Rachel Ray had the scarf wrapped around her head and face, while reading the script from a piece of paper and shaking her finger.

While the debate of whether Dunkin’ Donuts should have pulled the ad or not has been hashed out in the blogosphere, one thing that many people are ignoring is the potential fall out from this disaster. I have, therefore, taken it upon myself to outline for America just a few ways how this milestone event in our history may affect our future.

  1. Everytime Rachael Ray says “EVOO” on the Food Network, the CIA will need to investigate it to make sure its not a hidden message to Al-Qaeda.
  2. Urban Outfitters will notice a sudden drop in their quarterly profit outlook.
  3. .. So will White House | Black Market, a place famous for “for its sleek lines, and its focus on white, black, and other variants of the two colors” (Let’s just hope they don’t incorporate red).
  4. A reverse endorsement war will break out between Nike and Adidas to prove they are not the official tennis-shoe for terrorists.
  5. Economic crisis as a result of the inevitable American boycott on rice – a signature food of terrorists (and communists too).

While the Dunkin Donuts debate may rage on, one thing is for sure: America is one black and white piece of cloth closer to defeating terrorism, and with people like Michelle Malkin hard at work, it is only a matter of time before we take down one more scarf, and maybe this time we can get Emeril, Mario Batali, or Bobby Flay (have you seen his hair?? I think he has IRA ties).

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Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters and Qalam Institute. He teaches Islamic seminars across the US including Khateeb Workshop and Fiqh of Social Media. He has served in varying administrative capacities for multiple national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow his work at



  1. DI

    May 31, 2008 at 4:12 AM

    Ya know what’s funny about it…the scarf shows how Palestinians and Jews are related. Look at how similar it is to the Jewish tallit prayer shawl:

    I think someone could possibly mistake a Jewish shawl as a Palestinian one–let’s see what happens then! :D

  2. True Virtues

    May 31, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    They should be paying more attention to how Dunkin Donuts is raising healthcare costs and giving people diabetes and heart disease, as well as increasing obesity, instead of what the scarf seems to resemble… absolute paranoia…

  3. Umm 'Uthmaan

    May 31, 2008 at 11:22 AM

  4. binthawwa

    May 31, 2008 at 12:06 PM

    I saw this on CNN’s front page news yesterday! Simply hilarious.

  5. h.ahmed

    May 31, 2008 at 12:31 PM

    Why dont we get a Dunkin DOnuts boycott going in response to dunkin donuts succumbing to such xenhophobic and islamophobic paranoia?

  6. Amad

    May 31, 2008 at 1:06 PM

    I am with haseeb… start a campaign of at least emailing dunking to register our disgust.. and then go from there… maybe we can encourage a boycott in the muslim world… Dunkin needs to hear from us!

  7. ibnabeeomar

    May 31, 2008 at 3:04 PM

    we wont stop until they have a new ad with rachael ray in niqab! ;)

  8. Derelict of Dialect

    May 31, 2008 at 4:02 PM

    Contrary to what you have stated, the scarf was actually paisley as was mentioned in an article and if you look closely enough you can see it.

  9. Ibn Masood

    May 31, 2008 at 5:08 PM

    Derelict old boy, we know that, Rachel Ray’s designer clearly said it was a Paisley scarf. It’s Dunkin Donuts who went to far by getting all paranoid thinking it was a Palestinian scarf – and even if it was… so what? That’s what we find crazy.

  10. iMuslim

    May 31, 2008 at 9:02 PM

    I posted an event on Facebook that I encourage everyone to join (even those not on Facebook):

    Wear Your Kaffiyeh with Pride Day

    It’s quite simple: on Friday June 6th, make sure to wear a kaffiyeh wherever you happen to be (standing outside a Dunkin’ Donuts would be good *wink*) as a visual protest against this kind of blatant racism.

    Invite all your Arab, non-Arab, Muslim and non-Muslim friends… the more variety the better, insha’Allah, to really highlight that the kaffiyeh is a simple piece of patterned cloth, designed for everyone to wear.

  11. Seeker7

    May 31, 2008 at 9:18 PM

    It’s funny because the keffayah is in style these days…I’ve seen more non muslims wearing it than muslims! outrageous. Talk about boredom.

  12. Pingback: Wear Your Kaffiyeh With Pride Day « iMuslim

  13. Nihal Khan

    May 31, 2008 at 11:29 PM

    funny stuff

  14. Faraz

    May 31, 2008 at 11:45 PM

    I’m quite pleased that Dunkin Donuts was run out of the country by the proud and noble institution that is Tim Hortons. Those Coffee Koolata’s and Iced Lattes can’t hold a candle against Tim Hortons ice caps.

    While it’s much too warm for a scarf these days, I’ll wear mine on Friday insha-Allah.

  15. Kamran

    June 1, 2008 at 1:44 AM

    as salamualaykum

    the more they act this way, the more stupid they look. Sooner or later inshaAllah, the general population will realize the insanity of these right wingers..wallahu `alam

    btw, Omar, that Donut looks yummy :P


  16. priorities

    June 1, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    It is too bad that this story was all over the place on the same day as something with a lot more significance for palestinians to detract attention from the unfairness they are made to suffer. If I believed in conspiracy theories, this one would go something like, “Let’s get muslims riled up about something symbolic and superficial, as opposed to a real issue with societal ramifications”.
    If we’re gonna collectively spend energy speaking out, how about on this? This made me, and a bunch of my (non-muslim as well) friends extremely angry because of the injustice it shows openly.

    Also, everyday on my way to work, along with my morning latte, I also almost always get an ‘as-salaam-walaikum sister’ in any of the three dunkin donuts that I frequent. I’m not sure I want to boycott that, unless I know for sure what real good that will achieve as opposed to taking away from the already paltry tip earnings from muslim brothers and sisters who for all we know don’t have any other means of income.

  17. Amad

    June 1, 2008 at 11:32 AM

  18. Pakistani

    June 1, 2008 at 12:11 PM

    This is extreme, showing the mentality of the populace.
    Increasingly we are finding ourselves in the same place where jews used to be in 1930s/1940s. But who will play the Nazi role?

  19. Your mom

    June 1, 2008 at 3:33 PM

    Forever 21, Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, Wet seal, Charollette Russe and many more sell these scarfs….

  20. Bint Bashir

    June 2, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    This is rediculous… in the UK it has become almost fashionable to wear this scarf, it has no meaning behind it for most people it is simply a nice scarf….. just shows how paranoid people are becoming…………if a scarf causes this much concern!!!!

  21. Kamran

    June 2, 2008 at 4:49 PM

    I don’t think they’re becoming “paranoid”. They’re making a statement, “we won’t tolerate a piece of cloth let alone a land where you muslims can live”

  22. Olivia Kompier

    June 3, 2008 at 12:17 AM

    I just saw one for sale at Marshall’s–apparently there’s no rush to pull them off the shelves!

  23. bintazim

    June 3, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    This whole thing is ridiculuos!! It should be a real wake up call for all of us who need to work much harder on our dawah skills!! Obviously they have it all wrong!! And who is to correct them?? I like the idea of wearing the scarf on June 6th..make sure to explain to ppl why u did so too.

  24. DrM

    June 3, 2008 at 6:49 PM

    Lets take a quick at Michele Magalang Malkin shall we? Besides being a Fliipino version of Ann Coulter, married to jewish extremist Jesse Malkin(unemployed but runs her “website” last I checked) she has no real acheivements other then being a colored mascot for the extreme Right and co. Since she’s so opposed to immigration, perhaps her immigrant parents should be the first to placed in internment camps(which she supports for us). Forget the scarf, good luck getting the falafel banned.
    Shabbos Goyism is a lot of work :

  25. fairuza

    June 3, 2008 at 7:17 PM

    You think Malkin is a handful? She is a tame little kitten compared to Schlussel. They are both required reading for me to start my day off. It is helping me beat my caffeine addiction. I let those two get my blood flowing instead of the coffee.

  26. Boston Bob

    June 4, 2008 at 10:23 AM

    Well, well, now. While all of the useless bloviating about “protecting” Middle Eastern culture has been wasting bandwith, Dunkin’ Donuts has actually been DOING SOMETHING to invest in the lives of actual Middle Eastern people. Let us not forget that 100% of Dunkin’ Donuts shops are owned by independent franchisees, not a giant corporation. Many of these family franchises are owned by people of Middle Eastern descent. Gee—I wonder how they feel about your boycotting their business and taking food from their childrens mouths to “protect” them?
    Dunkin’ has invested BIG TIME in Arab and other eastern countries to create wealth and jobs for people there. What have you done, aside from try to take away the livelihood of thousands of Middle Eastern families and that of North Americans of Middle Eastern descent with a mindless boycott?

    Here is just ONE example:
    Dunkin’ Donuts opens biggest kitchen complex in Sharjah
    Sharjah: Tue, 3 Jun 2008

    Dunkin’ Donuts has opened the company’s largest commercial kitchen and warehouse complex in the Middle East region in Sharjah. The complex, built on an area of 30,000 sq ft, is the company’s biggest facility of its kind outside the US.
    Sheikh Mohammed Saud Sultan Al Qasimi, chairman of the government of Sharjah Finance Department and proprietor of Continental Foods, owners of the Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise in the UAE, inaugurated the new facility.
    Addressing a large gathering present at the opening ceremony, Sheikh Mohammed said Sharjah’s new Dh19 million ($5.17 million) Dunkin Donuts kitchen and warehouse complex will produce the full range of donuts in 50 different varieties and currently has the capacity to produce 50 million donuts per year.
    He said that twice daily deliveries are made to the outlets around the country to ensure that customers receive their donuts absolutely fresh.
    David Rodgers, Dunkin’ Donuts general manager noted that Dunkin’ Donuts had grown from one outlet in 1997 to 45 now covering the entire UAE. “This stupendous growth has necessitated the need for a much larger commercial kitchen facility,” he said.
    “We have risen to be the most popular coffee & baked goods chain in the UAE serving high quality hot and cold beverages and fresh donuts,” remarked Rodgers.
    Citing a recent customer survey, Rodgers stated that nearly half (47 per cent) of its clientele in the UAE comprised UAE nationals and Arab expatriates while Asians accounted for around 23 per cent of its customer base.
    “Suitable for breakfast or as a snack at mid-morning or afternoon, our donuts are popular even among the Western expatriate population in the UAE as also the Filipino community,” he observed.
    Today, Dunkin’ Donuts is the world’s largest coffee and baked goods chain, serving more than three million customers per day. Dunkin’ Donuts sells 52 varieties of donuts and more than a dozen coffee beverages as well as other baked goods.
    “Dunkin’ Donuts outlets are conveniently situated in all the major Shopping Malls. Outlining the popularity of the food chain worldwide,” Rodgers added.
    “We plan to expand extensively throughout the UAE to ensure that our stores are conveniently located and within reach of everyone in the country,” he stressed.-TradeArabia News Service

  27. DrM

    June 4, 2008 at 2:17 PM

    Its obvious you’re clueless, Boston Bob. Dunkin Donuts “investing in the lives of Middle Eastern people”? LOL As if we need another third rate American franchise to pollute the air. We got plenty of wealth and opportunities so don’t think we’re waiting for some heart clogging filler material. It doesn’t matter whether it has Middle Eastern investment or not, its a matter of principle not to do business with lily livered cowards who give in to paranoid racists.

    As for Debbie Schlussel, check this out :

  28. Pingback: Kaffiyeh Day: What It’s Really All About |

  29. so_cal_muslim

    June 4, 2008 at 10:48 PM

    I’ve seen so many at UCSD wearing them.

    first off–oooh, are we bad to support the innocent Palestinians? Being killed for political/lame reasons?
    second–this is a ridiculous joke of an attempt to make Muslims look bad and is crossing the line.

    Support Palestine with all your heart! It doesn’t matter what they say, as long as we KNOW we are right in our hearts!!!!!!

    Viva Palestina. Peace

  30. Pingback: An Investigation into the Effects of Kaffiyeh Adornment « iMuslim

  31. Stormoak Lonewind

    August 1, 2008 at 3:44 PM

    I’d buy a donut from her even if she was wearing a birka and toting a machine gun. I’m interested in the pastry not some hidden message or her religious/political beliefs. If anything I thought the headdress was quite attractive on her. Maybe in sympathy toward all muslims americans should wear something middle-eastern while ordering. The media frenzy on that would be hilarious to watch. Personally, I wonder if donuts are halal or haram. I live in a very ethnically diverse city and love all the different peoples and cultures. I’m American by birth, spiritual in nature (non-muslim) and appreciative of all Allah’s creations. Including donuts sold by an italian-american wearing a suspiciously arab headdress. :-)

  32. BostonBob

    January 20, 2009 at 8:12 AM

    Riiiight, “Dr”M. You go, motor mouth. If the buinesses survive, and they have flourished since my last posting, it proves your approach of ranting instead of actually doing constructive things, is mindless as I originally posited.

    BTW–do some research before posting next time. I know that it takes away time from spittle forming at the corners of your always opening mouth in a good long rant, but please try. Dunkin’ Donuts sells more COFFEE than anything else by a wide margin. Most of its customers do not eat doughnuts.

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