Rachael Ray … a jihadi? Please!

Apparently, Dunkin’ Donuts has decided to pull an ad featuring Rachael Ray – not because blueberry coffee sounds disgusting, but because some got their lapel pins in a twist over Rachael’s scarf.

According to  Michelle Malkin , the black and white neckerchief Rachael sported in the commercial looked like “the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad”.

Oh, and she also called it “hate couture“. Clever.

The scarf Rachael was wearing was actually silk paisley. It wasn’t a keffiyeh (or shemagh, if you prefer). However, Michelle Malkin was concerned that it perhaps looked like something worn by violent jihadis like these . Malkin must have been fretting that perhaps Rachael had fallen under the spell of  Kirsten Dunst, Mary-Kate Olson, David Beckham, Sting and those nutty kids over at Urban Outfitters (whose CEO, Richard Hayne, is a staunch conservative, by the way).

Maybe, just maybe, their jihadi ringleader is none other than John McCain’s daughter, Meghan?

This latest clothing brouhaha  is more than mildly ridiculous. It’s also disturbing. But at least even celebrity gossip columnists recognize this paranoid reaction  to be “absolutely insane“.

Hey Rachael – you know what would be outta this world? If, on your hit TV show, you gathered the gumption to sport an actual keffiyeh.

You might pick one up at Amazon.com

…or, at Palestinian megamarts like the U.S. Calvary Store. Or the One Stop Israel Shop.



                                             Yes, I own several.

For the first time since WWII, US presidential candidates unite on an international issue: Darfur

View a video of the candidates speaking on Darfur here:

Read their statement here.

See here for more information about Darfur — and the Darfurian refugees working to end the crisis there.

Don’t forget – check The Sudanese Thinker regularly for updates on Sudan.


Featured blog: “The Sudanese Thinker”

Another blog to share with you: The Sudanese Thinker. Drima, a 21-year old Sudanese Afro-Arab Muslim and self-proclaimed “political junkie” quips about John McCain, comments on current events from every corner of the globe, keeps us up-to-date on what’s happening in Sudan … and does it all with wit, smarts, and a bit of, well, snarkiness. The good, refreshing kind.

Plus, he gave yours truly a holler in a recent blog entry. Thanks, Drima!

Faith and reason – let me know what you think

 “Faith is more than my guiding light. It is my kinetic energy.”

  – Helen Keller

 I recently attended an event and panel discussion on Islam. All panelists were people active in movements for human rights.

Something about the panel struck me immediately: there were no women on it who identified as practicing Muslims. In fact, there was only one woman on the panel at all. She certainly had valuable things to say, and I appreciated her perspective.

Unfortunately, though, no effort was made (that I know of) to include the voices of believing women on the panel. While the event was enlightening and positive overall, I couldn’t help but be disappointed by what I felt to be a conspicuous void in the conversation. While the men on the panel represented various levels of belief, there was no diversity when it came to women’s voices.

The implications of situations like these are, I think, grave. The fact of the matter is this: the panel was worthwhile, the sponsoring organization sincere in their mission, and the participants all passionate and intelligent people. However, what is the unspoken message when believing women are excluded from conversations about human rights, reason, and justice within Islam?

I trust you’ll all tell me if I’ve just gotten too caught up in the “politics of representing”. However, to me, the unspoken message – unintentional as it may have been – was that Muslim women aren’t inclined – or outspoken enough – to engage in public dialogues about human rights and our faith. Even when progressive viewpoints are presented, the silencing of the female Muslim voice reinforces the stereotype that women of faith are passive and not engaged with the relevant issues of our time.

I know this stereotype to be false; and I’m almost positive that the panel’s organizers would agree with me.

If it weren’t for my faith, I know I could not maintain my resolve through the trials of daily life. I know the same is true for countless Muslim women.

So, my question is this: how do Muslim women ensure that our voices are front and center in conversations like the one I attended? How do we demand that we are not ignored, even by those who claim to be interested in working for our rights?

“If anyone says, `Why have you included Rabia [often called Islam’s first female saint] in the rank of men?’, my answer is that the Prophet himself said: `God does not regard your outward forms’. The root of the matter is not form, but intention, as the Prophet said.” – Farid-ud-Din Attar, Tazkirat al-Auliya

Kuwaiti columnist Ibtihal al-Khatib: “my problem is with religious coercion”

An interesting video from Memri TV: Kuwaiti columnist Ibtihal al-Khatib – a Muslim woman – discusses religion, dissent,  and civil rights. She makes a compelling argument for the separation of religion and state – and asks a straightforward question: will people follow a religious ruling even if it goes against the best interests of the nation?

Unfortunately, this video is no longer available on YouTube. Click here to see it at MEMRI TV.


 “…You people! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you might get to know one another…”

Qur’an 49:13

Brown Man Clothing Co. gives my shot at humor a chance

See the latest design from Brown Man Clothing Co.:


Click here to see the design up-close, and here to buy the shirt. I’m honored – and hope my name helps, rather than hinders, their sales! Check out this mention in the official Brown Man Clothing Co. blog, too.

Be sure to check out the rest of of Brown Man Clothing Co.’s merchandise. Allow me to make a suggestion

Reflection for the week – William James on doubt, risk and morality

“If in the mountain precipice I doubt my right to risk a leap, I actively connive at my destruction. He who commands himself not to be credulous of God, of duty, of freedom, of immortality, may again and again be indistinguishable from he who dogmatically denies them. Scepticism in moral matters is an active ally of immorality.”

– William James, Sentiments of Rationality

Photo: Keynote address, Wilfrid Laurier University – Ontario, Canada