Earlier this week we saw Amena Khan, Muslim youtuber and influencer, grace the latest L’Oreal hair campaign alongside other influencers. The campaign saw a range of influencers in the advert including model Neelam Gill, Dougie Pointer from McFly, and blogger Megan Ellaby. Amena Khan stars in the campaign, talking about how even though she wears a hijab, she still cares about looking after her hair.
The campaign is has been reported about in several outlets and hailed as “Revolutionary”, “Historic”, “Game Changing”, “barrier-breaking” and Amena has been hailed for “Breaking Stereotypes.”
My phone has been buzzing with messages since the campaign went live. The amount of support has been overwhelming ???????? From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who has sent even a nugget of positivity our way!!! #allworthit ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #Repost @osaama_official ・・・ Congratulations babe @amenaofficial She made me believe the impossible is possible. #loreal @elleuk @britishvogue @glamourmag @huffpost @thisisinsider @refinery29 @emirateswoman @voguearabia @popsugarbeauty @lorealhair
A post shared by Amena (@amenaofficial) on
That was until today when Amena Khan realised a statement on her social media platforms announcing she would be stepping down from the campaign following the surfacing of tweets from 2014 about Israel.
100’s of followers and critics have commented on the situation including prominent influencer Dina Tokio:
“I don’t think u should step down! You can’t have an opinion now?? Those tweets or opinions did NOT make you ‘anti Semitic’ whatsoever. You are a well articulated woman and anyone with sense can see that . It’s funny I wonder if your tweets were the opposite opinion would you have been targeted like this?! it’s actually shit that you’ve been made to feel like this from whatever pressures you’ve faced, we support you ???????? stand for what is moral and right ✌???? peace and hugs your way ✌????”
– Dina Tokio, Instagram comment
Many have shown solidarity and support in Amena’s original tweets, others have shown disappointment in her apology and there have also been comments about L’Oreal and their integrity in representing minorities.
I don’t see problem. Half those settlements are illegal under international law and treaty????????♀️ https://t.co/dcksZlE0ga
— Never Went to Oovoo Javer (@AnotherNerd4) January 22, 2018
The big (and somewhat disappointing) difference is that Munroe said what she said. https://t.co/tvHGNbgBMJ
— che (@frenchsaiai) January 22, 2018
This situation vindicates why I don't share strong political views online https://t.co/YYSdkJyHnj
— મારીયા (@Maariyah05) January 22, 2018
What we tweet/post/like/comment will always be dug up from the past and used against us even if it was perfectly agreeable at that time.
As Muslims, especially public figures – this is just 1 example of how threatening it is for us to even comment on a humanitarian crisis. https://t.co/jpJklLXkqZ
— MaƦiyah (@mariyahzaman) January 22, 2018
Criticising Israel is not grounds for being forced to step down. For those who don't know… Criticising Israel is not the same as being Anti Semitic https://t.co/Ztmti6t0MG
— … (@King_Che_W) January 22, 2018
Sad to see @amenaofficial step down from Loreal role over old tweets. Regardless of your thoughts on her appearing in the ad, it was much needed representation that I think goes a long way to "normalise" hijab in everyday context https://t.co/ktpsL4wwH4
— Maaiysa (@Maaiysa) January 22, 2018
We have to ask why it's OK for us to have spokeswomen like @galgadot for @revlon, who use their platform to express support for Israel's military against Palestinian women, while we take down spokeswomen like Amena for their vocal support of Palestinian women, children, & people.
— Amani (@xoamani) January 22, 2018
I fail too see the alleged offence caused by any of her tweets, the single tweet about pharaoh may be questionable by some. However, the subsequent apology and stepping down is both unnecessary & insulting to the Palestinian people and their plight. She should have stood firm https://t.co/gIR8sPPHjz
— Tobias- inconspicuous black person (@Whytrustme) January 22, 2018
Her apology shows me that she no longer cares for the Palestinians that are being illegally occupied by Israel & being brutalized… L'Oreal has always been a horrible brand… https://t.co/yJ9RNf4Qhn
— U ???? (@SnowDesi) January 22, 2018
A British Muslim woman has been hounded out from an ad campaign for being critical of Israel. So criticising countries is racist now?
Where are those defenders of free speech now? ????https://t.co/7Vglcb7nDs
— Sunny Hundal (@sunny_hundal) January 22, 2018
This is why I am so critical abt these tokenistic attempts at diversity and inclusion. These Muslim influencers partner w companies tht they know oppress other Muslims.
Don’t call yourself a representative for our community if you’re willing to sell out our ummah for capitalism.
— eemi (@eemanabbasi) January 22, 2018