Paranoid Delusion of the Week

May 27, 2009


From Seraphic Secret comes a fascinating video of Muslim cleric Safwat Higazi explaining on television to Egyptian viewers why all Starbucks Coffee shops in Arabia should be boycotted. Not surprisingly, Mr. Higazi offers no proof for his assertions. His tone is both reasonable and persuasive as he encourages his viewers to blame the Jews for yet one more conspiracy.

You would think hope be wrong if you thought that some of the brighter folks there would begin to question this worldview. Or, you might think that an enterprising young Egyptian or Saudi would simply look at the Starbucks site to see if this rumor is true. Had anyone thought to do that, this is what they would find:

According to rumors on the internet, Starbucks logo represents an Israeli Queen – How accurate is that?

This is totally inaccurate – the Starbucks logo does not represent Esther, the Old Testament Jewish Queen of Persia. This myth has been brought about by the similarity in looks on the cover of a children’s book about Esther to the Starbucks logo.

 When we were looking for a logo when Starbucks began in 1971, we wanted to capture the seafaring tradition of early coffee traders. The name Starbucks itself comes from the first mate’s name in the classic novel, Moby Dick. We pored over old marine books until we came up with a logo based on an old sixteenth-century Norse woodcut: a two-tailed mermaid encircled by the store’s original name, Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spice. The twin-tailed mermaid, or siren as she’s called in Greek mythology, has come to mean good coffee around the world.

For some, it’s hard to think independently, to take action, to find out. For some, it’s easier to hate. And the Middle East will continue to be a cesspool of hatred until rational thought trumps paranoid delusion.