The invaluable MEMRI has posted a video from Egyptian satellite television in which a cleric insists that Muslims boycott Starbucks coffee. Sadly, the cleric’s outrage has nothing to do with Starbucks’ preposterous prices, nor is he trying to protect domestic mom-and-pop coffee shops. Rather, the cleric is claiming that the woman on Starbucks’s logo is Queen Esther, and that the prevalence of the ancient Persian-Jewish queen’s image within the Muslim world is an insult to Islam.
You can’t blame the cleric for not knowing that the Starbucks woman is actually a mermaid. But you can blame him for being an idiot — and apparently he’s not alone. According to a friend of mine spending the year in Syria, another common belief holds that Kentucky Fried Chicken is also a front for a vast Jewish conspiracy. You see, Colonel Sanders is supposedly a legendary soldier in the IDF, while Kentucky contains a disproportionately large Jewish population! Who knew?
Ultimately, I find it hard to decide whether these conspiracy theories are sad, dangerous, or hysterically funny. Either way, anyone considering opening a Long John Silver’s restaurant in Cairo might want to think twice. Indeed, with a last name like Silver, detection is inevitable!