by James M. Wall
As they used to say on Monty Python, “Now for something completely different.” And for that something, we turn to Gershom Gorenberg whose blog effectively nailed ABC News for a story it ran on Dunkin Donuts, an American purveyor of sweet, juicy, caloric donuts. Gorenberg tells us that he could not believe ABC was serious when it passed along the “shocking news” that a major American corporation had announced to the world that an ad for Dunkin Donuts was pulled from the the internet because of the possibility some viewers would see it as promoting “terrorism”.
Here is how it all came down: A young woman named Rachel Ray was attacked via the internet by a blogger named Pam Geller, who posted an item on her blog under the headline: “Rachel Ray: Dunkin Donuts Jihad Tool.” Ms. Geller proceeded to explain: “Have you seen Rachel Ray wearing the icon of Yasser Arafatbastard and the bloody Islamic jihad? This is part of the cultural jihad.”
Blog postings like that go up every day, but this one took on added life when, as Gorenberg adds:
Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin took up the cause last week, when she wrote on her Web site… “The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad.”… The actual garment, says the item, was a “black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design.” With terror victorious, not only does a school teaching Arabic become a madrassa which necessarily means it teaches Islamic extremism, as Daniel Pipes believes, but a paisley scarf is necessarily a keffiyeh, which is necessarily a sign that the person wearing it favors “murdering Jews,” . . .
There can only be one explanation: For Malkin, every Palestinian is a terrorist. To sell that point, she resorts to sensationalism, minimalism and obscene sweeping statements. Sadly, this reductive approach is an old and tired trick when it comes to public discourse on the Middle-East, or Muslims.
But let’s not kid ourselves. Malkin’s anti-Palestinian message, by itself, is not newsworthy. It is only effective when coupled with a climate that is highly receptive to fear-mongering. Only then can it wreak havoc. After all, it is only because of the perception of a public backlash that Dunkin’ Donuts, with curiously weak knees, felt pressure to yank the ad off the Internet.
This country will one day elect a Jewish American or an Arab American as president, inshallah. For the moment, however, we may rejoice that we have a presidential candidate whose father, a Muslim from Africa, gave his son a respected Arabic middle name, Hussein. And a first name which translates, ‘blessed”.