Amena Khan

Just days after French cosmetics company L'Oréal announced casting British hijabi blogger Amena Khan in its latest haircare campaign, Khan has stepped down from the campaign over her old tweets regarding Israel. 

This came after her now-deleted tweets about Israel's 2014 assault on Gaza resurfaced online, causing a stir since the French company is affiliated with Israel.

Apart from withdrawing from the campaign, Khan apologized for her previous remarks, drawing heavy criticism from supporters of Palestine.

Last week, the fashion and beauty blogger made international headlines after featuring in L'Oréal's new Elvive multimedia campaign, making history as the first hijab-wearing woman to ever be featured in a mainstream hair ad.

"Whether or not your hair is on display doesn't affect how much you care about it," Khan says in the ad.

However, social media users soon unearthed some of her old tweets, which had come in response to the 2014 Gaza War, which saw Israeli forces kill at least 2,104 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians.

"You repeatedly say 'nobody is above the law.' Well, under international law, Israel is an illegal state," one tweet read. 

In another, she wrote, "Israel = Pharoah. Both are child murderers. Insha'Allah, defeat also awaits the former; it's only a matter of time. #HopeForGaza #SaveGaza."

According to a media outlet, Khan faced online abuse over the tweets, with people addressing her with Islamophobic language and accusing her of anti-Semitism.

Khan's now-deleted tweets Source: Daily Mail

After the tweets resurfaced online, Khan not only stepped down from the campaign but also deleted the tweets and said she "regrets" posting them. Khan also deleted footage of the campaign from her Instagram account.

In a statement posted on her social media accounts, Khan apologized for her comments and announced she will, "with deep regret," no longer be part of the campaign.

"I deeply regret the content of the tweets I made in 2014, and sincerely apologise for the upset and hurt that they have caused," the statement read. 

"Championing diversity is one of my passions, I don't discriminate against anyone. I have chosen to delete them as they do not represent the message of harmony that I stand for."

As a result, Khan is facing a backlash from supporters of the Palestinian cause, who have criticized her for backing down rather than standing up for the cause.

People are wondering why she's apologizing for speaking the truth

"Why apologize?"

"Please stand by your values"

"It has become politically incorrect to voice any support for Palestinians"

"Stand up for [the] truth unapologetically"

Many are simply disappointed

What example is she setting for Muslim girls?

"It wasn't worth it"

A gentle reminder that criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic

Still, some people came to her defense

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh shared her two cents

"If they dare to speak, the rug is pulled out from under them"

Jordanian-Palestinian journalist, women's rights activist, and founder of MuslimGirl, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, said she is "overwhelmingly disappointed" with how Khan and L’Oréal responded to the issue.

"Far too often, when women like Amena, who are already widely underrepresented in these conversations, are given any sort of visibility, it's conditional upon them denouncing who they are and not speaking their truth," Al-Khatahtbeh said in a tweet

"If they dare to speak, the rug is pulled out from under them."

Al-Khatahtbeh recently made the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) proud by turning down an award in support of the Palestinian cause.

The media titan rejected American cosmetics brand Revlon's "Changemaker Award" because the company features Israeli actor and former soldier Gal Gadot as its brand ambassador.

L’Oréal responds

"We appreciate that Amena has since apologized for the content of these tweets and the offense they have caused," the company told the Huffington Post in a statement.

"L’Oréal Paris is committed to tolerance and respect towards all people. We agree with her decision to step down from the campaign."

It is worth noting that L’Oréal has a headquarter in Israel, which is the company's "commercial center for the entire Middle East," according to Easy Boycott Israel Guide.

Additionally, L’Oréal Israel sponsors prizes for the Weizmann Institute in Israel, which conducts weapon research for Israel's military forces.