Mennel Ibtissem recently quit the “The Voice” after she received backlash for some old Twitter posts where she condemned the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and the French government. She announced she was leaving the show on Friday via a video shared on Facebook. In the video, she apologized to anybody she may have upset. This comes a week after Amena Khan stepped away from the L’Oreal due to similar circumstances and expressed her regret regarding the old posts.
Mennel was harassed online and in the media; she was called a terrorist, a radical and an anti-Semite. Standing up for the rights of the Palestinian people, and not speaking out against the violent actions of the Israeli government does not equate to being an anti-Semitic bigot. It is incredibly heartbreaking to see another person having to apologize and end expressing her support for basic human rights for Palestine.
It never fails – voicing support for Palestinian rights and freedom always results in the person being accused of anti-Semitism.
Newsflash: It is not an attack on Judaism if you stand against oppression and occupation. Palestinians are not afforded the liberties that they deserve as human beings. Homes are literally condemned to the ground into rubble, children are killed and families are torn apart due apartheid walls and checkpoints manned by Israeli soldiers. Shedding light on these issues and condemning oppression shouldn’t be a reason why someone would have to face criticism or end an opportunity of making a dream a reality.
This highlights a disturbing trend in which Muslim women in the mainstream media have to give up their platforms due to their opinions, and beliefs. There is already very little visibility of Muslim women in the media, and women being forced to step down erases the very little visibility we have.
In her video on Facebook, Mennel assured that her musical career was not ending, and she said, “A lot of tension has hidden my desire to spread peace, love and tolerance. I have never meant to hurt anyone and only the idea that I would do it on purpose pains me a lot.”