May 28th, 2008

linkthink #2940: Jihadi Chic Latte

it’s a peace scarf

videyoga ::


  • 1. Birdseed  |  May 29th, 2008 at 6:15 am

    Well, the khuffiya (I’m not even going to try to spell that correctly) is a very strong symbol of left-wing (not Jihadist) sympathies here in Sweden, worn by anarchists, punks and young radicals. Does it not have any similar connotations in the US, or are all your clueless liberals sympathetic to the oppressive Israeli cause? :)

  • 2. wayneandwax  |  May 29th, 2008 at 7:15 am

    As Ted Swedenburg’s “Kufiya Spotting” series illustrates (and, btw, I’m not sure what constitutes “correct” spelling for such a transliteration), unfortunately, the scarf has been somewhat dissociated from its meanings — but certainly not for all wearers — as it has become a fashion item. (I think this is confirmed by the Rachael Ray episode, no?) Even D&Y seem to register its meanings, if subtly, by calling it a “peace scarf.” Certainly the three or four students who wore kufiyas in my “Global Hip-hop” class at Brandeis, given the institution’s relationship to Israel, are well aware of the scarf’s significations.

  • 3. Caro  |  May 29th, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I’ve been following Ted’s kufiya-spotting series too, and what’s been real interesting is how in a short period of time, basically over the past year, the hip hop kufiya went from a subtle, yet pointed message (solidarity with Palestine, as it was in the 80s, when I first saw it become lefty-wear), to the fashion item it’s become (I’d point to Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco as the biggest popularizers).

    On the first warm sunny day on lower Bway (near NYU land and long a stroll for hip brown kids), it was “invasion of the faux-kufiya wearers.” It seemed like every kid was wearing bright 80s-new wave colors (pace MIA) and all the boys had tight-but-low-crotched jeans, big bright sneakers, baseball caps barely covering bushy hair, and a faux-kufiya in a cornucopia of colors. One girl I randomly stopped called it a “Taliban scarf” — I didn’t know whether to laugh or be horrified. She said she had no idea of its origins, and that a lot of kids who wear ’em probably don’t either. Of my students who had ’em, only the ones I already knew as lefties knew what a kufiya was.

  • 4. » C&hellip  |  May 29th, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    […] I linkthunk yesterday, I was gassed to hear (via /rupture) a reggaeton-inflected remix of some Mexican cumbia […]

  • 5. theantisuck  |  May 30th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Back in high school, the only kids I knew rocking the keffiyeh were involved w/ or supported the US pro-palistine movement, the kind of kids who would wear similarly slightly controvercial military gear like army jackets and, yes, Che shirts. I knew a lot of radical youngins who wore them, some second generation arab kids and a bunch of white kids too.

    Now I think its sort of a popularization of that MIA chic – graffiti/militant/bright colors etc I see it a lot in nyc in day-glo colors by a lot of hipsters & a TON of black youth – that not just fashion. I do think theres an interesting aesthetic and cultural link between gangster rapper and PLO chic glorification / perception of violence in america.

    the keffiyeh, not worn across the middle east but very native to the gulf, the heartland, & it has been politicized, not first by westerners but by radicals themselves, why else would say, berber militants choose to wear it when its almost as foreign to see on heads in the streets in Casablanca as it is here. I pity the avereage gulf man who now gets a political association for wearing his normal clothing. But that association was not just made by americans, but mulsims across the world who see it everyday on aljazeera reporting in palistine.

    soooo Quadir Habeeb vs. Rachael Ray? Ray’s use almost bothers me more b/c its just simple cultural appropriation. Habeeb’s use is more offensive but more interesting and politicaly engaging.


I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com

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