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MuslimGirl's Amani Al-Khatahtbeh turns down Revlon's Changemaker award because Gal Gadot is brand ambassador Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

MuslimGirl's Amani Al-Khatahtbeh turns down Revlon's Changemaker award because Gal Gadot is brand ambassador

Amani (L) said she can't accept the award with Gal (R) as ambassador [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 January, 2018

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The founder behind MuslimGirl turned down Revlon's award because its brand ambassador is Gal Gadot, an Israeli actress who has written in support of the IDF's offensive against Gaza.
Muslim girls are bored of stereotypes.  

The rise of social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube has allowed Muslims, and in particular, Muslim women, to reclaim the narrative. Long gone is the image of a helpless oppressed black-clad covered woman who needs rescuing; now Generation M is a vibrant, successful movement that is confident and unapologetic in both their religious and national identity.

Founder of MuslimGirl.com Amani Al-Khatahtbeh is one such example. A Jordanian-Palestinian journalist and women's rights activist, Khatahtbeh is leading the way in breaking stereotypes and setting the record straight. Her online platform showcases what being a Muslim girl really means, talking about fitness, equality, politics and everything in between.

With an Instagram following that boasts 70K followers, MuslimGirl prides itself on being a real window into the lives of Muslim women being true to their authentic selves, a celebration of the diversity behind the modern Muslim woman far away from the stock photos used repeatedly in mainstream media.

We can't accept role models that support the oppression of women and girls in other parts of the world

Several prominent brands have started to recognise the importance of work done by the likes of Khatahtbeh, liaising closely with Muslim bloggers and creating spaces for diversity.

American beauty brand Orly teamed up with MuslimGirl and launched a collection of breathable nail polish #HalalPaint while Getty worked to update its stock photos of what being a Muslim truly means.

The latest platform to recognise Khatahtbeh's great work  was Revlon, presenting the 25-year-old with the 'Changemaker Award'… but it was an award that she refused to accept.

Taking to the photo-sharing application, Instagram, Khatahtbeh shared her reasoning behind her refusal to accept the reward.

"I cannot accept this award from Revlon with Gal Gadot as the ambassador. Her vocal support of the Israeli Defense Forces' actions in Palestine goes against MuslimGirl.com's morals and values.

"This shouldn't have to be said, but we can't accept role models that support the oppression of women and girls in other parts of the world," Khatahtbeh wrote.

Instagram Post

In August 2014, Israeli actress Gal Gadot caused a stir after posting a picture of herself praying for Israeli forces as Israel led a military offensive against Gaza, one which left more than 1,400 Palestinian civilians dead – including hundreds of women and children.

"I am sending my love and prayers to [...] all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children...We shall overcome!!! Shabbat Shalom!" Gadot wrote.

Khatahtbeh argued that being a changemaker – really and truly – means turning down that award.

"The personal is political – yes, even and especially, when it comes to beauty – and I don't know about you, but my feminism is inclusive of ALL women and nothing less."

"I can't in good conscience, accept this award from the brand and celebrate Gal's ambassadorship after the IDF imprisoned a 16-year-old girl named Ahed Tamimi last month," Khatahtbeh wrote.

Tamimi was arrested in a pre-dawn raid last month for "humiliating" an Israeli officer after a video went viral on social media platforms of her slapping a soldier who shot her cousin. Israeli authorities are now seeking 12 charges against Ahed Tamimi, and she faces up to 10-14 years in prison. 

Many on social media praised Khatahtbeh's decision and thanked her for her 'inspirational' stance.

"It's easy to get caught up in convos about women's empowerment right now, which is why it's so important for us to stay woke about who's getting left out of the conversation and give them space whenever we can," Khatahtbeh told Teen Vogue.

"We have to make sure that our feminism is inclusive of [all] women of colour because history has taught us that we can't compromise on liberation."

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