USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

The stigmatization of anything Palestinian or Arab

Posted by uscsjp on June 9, 2008

“An article recently published on the BBC’s website told of a recent controversy regarding a Dunkin’ Donuts online commercial in which an American celebrity chef appeared wearing something that resembled the traditional kuffiyeh checkered scarf. The article stated that:

‘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.”‘

Admittedly, this is not a surprising reaction to come from a conservative American blogger, but it nevertheless sounds alarm bells in the minds of those who are aware of the increasing tendency to collapse everything Arab, especially Palestinian, into the category ‘terrorist.’ Moreover, the fact that the BBC offered no alternative analysis to Malkin’s comments indicates that it implicitly accepts them, another blow to representation of elements of Arab identity in the Western mainstream media. The visceral reaction of Malkin and her supporters, who succeeded in getting the Dunkin’ Donuts commercial removed from the web, should be shown for what it really is: another attempt at denying symbols of Palestinian resistance their history, and hence their legitimacy, and thereby relegating them to the category of irrational, violent incitements to terrorism…”

–Lilith Hope, The Electronic Intifada, 5 June 2008


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