L’Oreal’s first hijab-wearing hair care model steps down over Israel tweets

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:07 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 @ 5:11 PM

Amena Khan, L’Oréal’s First Hijab Wearing Hair Care Model, Steps Down Over Tweets

UPDATE Jan. 24:

L’Oreal Paris recently made history when it featured model Amena Khan in its new hair product campaign, but when tweets she penned in 2014 made the rounds online, she announced she would step down

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was not able to view the now-deleted tweets, but screenshots of Khan’s comments showed she referred to Israel as a “sinister state” and said the country is full of “child murderers.”

>> Read more trending news 

On Monday, she shared a statement with her more than 570,000 Instagram followers and wrote, “I recently took part in a campaign, which excited me because it celebrated inclusivity. 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.”

A post shared by Amena (@amenaofficial) on

Khan made a second post Wednesday to clear up any misunderstandings. 

“I stand by, grieve for and am outraged by the suffering of children whether they’re victims of war or any other type of abuse,” she wrote. “My choice of words in the 2014 tweets could have been worded better as I know there was genuine hurt in a community that I sounded like I was generalizing.”

💜💚

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The reaction to Khan’s stepping down has been mixed as some Twitter users were frustrated that she apologized in the first place.

ORIGINAL STORY Jan. 19:

L’Oreal Paris  made history when it featured model Amena Khan in its new hair product campaign.

Khan, a British beauty blogger, model and co-founder of Ardere Cosmetics, is the first hijab-wearing model to star in a hair campaign for a major international brand.

>> Read more trending news 

She revealed the video campaign to her more than 570,000 Instagram followers last week, calling it a “game changing” project. 

On Twitter, L’Oreal and Khan received their share of praise and backlash. 

In an interview with Vogue UK published Sunday, Khan lauded the European brand for its commitment to inclusion. “They're literally putting a girl in a headscarf — whose hair you can't see — in a hair campaign ... because what they're really valuing through the campaign is the voices that we have,” Khan said.

Related: Muslim women support Nike as backlash over sports hijab sparks #BoycottNike

"You have to wonder – why is it presumed that women that don't show their hair don't look after it?" she said. "The opposite of that would be that everyone that does show their hair only looks after it for the sake of showing it to others. And that mindset strips us of our autonomy and our sense of independence. Hair is a big part of self-care.”

On Twitter, L’Oreal and Khan received their share of praise and backlash

The campaign reignited a controversial discussion about the hijab, with many arguing that the garment promotes oppression of women.

Last March, when Nike announced its new sports hijab, many Muslim women defended their choice to wear the hijab.

Muslim feminist Hanna Yusuf has also addressed critics of the hijab in the past and said that wearing hers is a feminist statement. 

“In a world where a woman’s value is often reduced to her sexual allure, what could be more empowering than rejecting that notion?” she said in a video for The Guardian.

But, Yusuf said, her concern with the hijab being unfairly portrayed as oppression is not a denial of the fact that some women are forced to wear it in some parts of the world.

Related: Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad’s new Barbie doll is the first to wear a hijab

Still, some users felt that including a hijab-wearing model to promote hair products was “#pointless” or was just the company's attempt to make a statement.

Khan was also criticized for some of her previous tweets, in which she referred to Israel as a “sinister state.” Those tweets have since been deleted.

For reference, President Donald Trump recently recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, an action that the United Nations voted to condemn.

For decades, the U.S. has remained silent on the issue, amid warnings from world leaders concerned that such a declaration “could inflame tensions in the volatile Mideast,” The New York Times reported. The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967, for their capital.

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4 things to know about Billy Graham

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 11:43 AM

Billy Graham - Through The Years

Evangelical leader Billy Graham, who counseled presidents and preached to millions of people worldwide, died Wednesday at 99. 

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How Graham got his start

Graham, the son of a North Carolina farmer, started preaching throughout the south and midwest.

He was “born again” after hearing a preacher’s service in 1934 in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to CNN

He attended Florida Bible Institute and it was there while taking a midnight stroll in 1937 on the 18th green when he received his calling from God, Graham wrote in his biography. He was baptized Dec. 4, 1938, in Silver Lake, Florida, and ordained the following year, according to CNN.

After graduating, Graham moved to Illinois to continue his education at Wheaton College, where he met his wife, according to The New York Times.

Advisor to presidents and welcomed by world leaders

Graham advised 10 presidents starting with Harry Truman. Barack Obama was the last president Graham met with, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Graham was most closely linked to President Richard Nixon whom he endorsed in 1968. Years later, recordings of the two were released in which they made anti-Semitic remarks. Graham apologized, saying he did not recall making the statements.

Not only did Graham counsel American presidents, world leaders of religiously restrictive countries welcomed him. 

He was invited to preach in China as well as in Pyongyang by North Korean dictator Kim Il-sung, according to the New York Times. He also visited communist countries in Eastern Europe to promote peace.

Graham’s global reach 

Graham was not the first evangelical but he was able to use communication and technology to gain an unprecedented reach. 

Through the use of radio, books, magazines, television and the internet Graham’s “crusades” reached more than 200 million people on almost every continent. 

Graham wrote 30 books and his sermons were translated into 48 languages and sent to 185 countries by satellite, according to the New York Times

He held a crusade in Madison Square Garden in 1957. It was so popular, it was extended from six to 16 weeks and ended with a rally with 100,000 people in Times Square. It was Graham’s longest revival meeting ever.

His final crusade was in 2005 in New York City. However, the Billy Graham Evangelical Association continues to organize them. 

Evangelical “tree”

Graham formed the Billy Graham Evangelical Association in 1950. The group continues to organize crusades, radio and television programs and publishes the Decision magazine. The association trains thousands of evangelicals and missionaries and sends a rapid response team to help in disaster areas. 

His son, Franklin Graham, who developed his own following, was tapped to lead the association in 1995, according to the New York Times

Daughter Anne Graham Lotz and grandsons Will Graham and William Graham Tullian Tchividjian are part of the ministry. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Parkland students at Capitol calling for tighter gun control laws

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 12:14 PM

VIDEO: Florida Students March on Tallahassee

About 100 students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School poured into the state Capitol this morning to call for tighter gun control laws in the wake of last week’s massacre on their school campus.

>> Read more trending news

The students arrived at a Tallahassee high school to extended applause late Tuesday after a 400-mile trip on three buses, The Associated Press reported.

The students told about 500 students and parents waiting for them that they are fighting to protect all students.
>>Read the full story here.

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Paul Manafort, Rick Gates face new charges: report

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 11:49 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 12:06 PM

Robert Mueller - Fast Facts

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, and Rick Gates, who served as a campaign aide, are facing new charges in special counsel Robert Mueller's criminal case against the pair, Politico reported Wednesday.

READ MORE: Mueller investigation: Lawyer pleads guilty to lying to investigators in Russia probeWho is Rick Gates and why was he indicted by Robert Mueller? | Who is Paul Manafort, the man indicted in Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation? | What are Paul Manafort and Rick Gates charged with? | MORE

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Billy Graham quotes: He made Christian principles accessible to millions

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 9:02 AM

Billy Graham - Through The Years

Evangelist Billy Graham died Wednesday at age 99 at his North Carolina home.

Graham, who preached Christianity to millions around the world, was also a confidant of U.S. presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush.

Here are some quotes from the man who became known as “America’s Pastor.”  

  • The greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.
  • Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.
  • No matter how prepared you think you are for the death of a loved one, it still comes as a shock, and it still hurts very deeply.
  • Believers, look up - take courage. The angels are nearer than you think.
  • Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion - it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.
  • When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.
  • My home is in Heaven. I'm just traveling through this world.
  • Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.
  • God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.
  • A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.
  • God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ’I love you.’
  • I've read the last page of the Bible. It's all going to turn out all right.
  • God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there.
  • Nothing can bring a real sense of security into the home except true love.

Source: Brainy Quotes

FILE - In this June 27, 1954 file photo, Evangelist Billy Graham speaks to over 100,000 Berliners at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany. Graham, who transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism, becoming a counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has died. Spokesman Mark DeMoss says Graham, who long suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments, died at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. He was 99. (AP Photo, File)(Werner Kreusch/AP)

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