L’Oréal’s Hijab Model Amena Khan steps down after calling Israel “child murderers”

On Monday I wrote about L’Oréal appointing an anti-Israel, hijabi wearing model as a hair model and spokeswoman. Now she has stepped down. It is yet another twist in a story that has been going on since the 1980s.

Like other multinational companies in the 1980s, the French cosmetics giant L’Oreal S.A. faced a vexing problem: How could it continue to do business in Israel without being blacklisted in the Arab world?

L’Oreal’s response to the threat of being banned seems to have depended on who was listening.

To the Arab League’s boycott office in Damascus, Syria, L’Oreal wrote in 1986 that it had stopped cosmetics production in Israel by its recently acquired Helena Rubinstein subsidiary, eliminated the company name worldwide, removed the company’s longstanding directors and “complied with all the regulations of the boycott of Israel.”

To the rest of the world, L’Oreal has insisted that it never complied with the Arab boycott and that it continued to sell cosmetics in Israel. The tone of the company’s letters to the Arab League was “not very nice,” a L’Oreal official said, but the letters were “only an appearance. We have not discriminated against anybody.”

L’Oreal’s contortions in dealing with the Arab boycott illustrate the lengths to which companies went in their efforts to do business in the Middle East. For many of them, the record suggests, business dealings in that region involved talking out of two sides of the mouth.


In my first post on the story reader, Benjamin Toms revealed that L’Oréal had been included on a BDS boycott list from 1994,

Despite L’Oréal having 14 stores in Israel they have been “boycotting” Israel since the 1980s. Now they have appointed an anti-Israel spokeswoman who after some public pressure has now stepped down. It seems that L’Oréal‘s principles are determined by profit.

[…] Amena Khan announced her decision to step down from the campaign in a Twitter post on Monday, where she also claimed to have deleted the controversial posts about Israel. […] including her comments that Israel is a nation of “child murderers” and an “illegal state.”

[…] With deep regret, I’ve decided to step down from this campaign because the current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive sentiment that it set out to deliver,” she concluded.

Translation, my employers have told me I am now a liability and have told me to resign.

[…] In 2014, Khan called Israel “sinister,” “child murderers,” and claimed “defeat” awaits them.

“Israel is a sinister state & the ones who suffer most are innocent children,”  […]  in another she declared, “Israel = Pharoah. Both are child murderers. Insha’Allah, defeat also awaits the former; it’s only a matter of time.”

In other posts, Khan repeatedly referred to Israel as an “illegal state,” and claimed they take part in “terrorising innocent civilians.”

Last year, L’Oréal Paris UK also faced criticism with another diversity hire: transgender model Munroe Bergdorf, who was fired from the company after publishing several racist, anti-white rants.

Bergdorf was fired after claiming white people are “the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth,”[…]

L’Oréal are finding out the hard way that hiring people just because they tick a diversity box is not always a good thing as they can have “diverse” views that are hateful. First, they hired a racist anti-white, transgender model and then they hired a bigoted anti-Israel Hijabi hair model! They really should do basic background checks on their employee’s social media accounts. If they hired people for their ability to do the job well rather than to show how diverse and inclusive they are as a business they may also have a lot fewer PR problems.



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