What Amena Khan's apology tells us about the limits of Muslim 'success'

Can you campaign for fashion multinationals as a Muslim and keep faithful to your values? Four years after Amena Khan tweeted in support for Palestine, people decided that these tweets were too much to keep her at l'Oreal.

As a result, she stepped down from the campaign, deleted her tweets and apologised for these. Have multinationals become a new tool for controlling how Muslims should speak and how they should look?

Neoliberalism has shifted the centres of power from state-level politics to financial centres and multinational companies. While political laws restrict, the laws of the market operate by depriving things of their meaning.

By de-humanising culture and faith, and converting them into numbers, neoliberalism has perhaps found the most efficient recipe for legitimising colonial endeavours; and as with any de-humanising process, opens the doors to violence. Further, by making society believe that it is the only viable way of existing, it works by spreading pessimism.

However, there is hope. Some small groups have understood that freedom cannot be found within industries and institutions as long as they abide by de-humanising standards; there is a need for building alternatives for healing, growth and self-determination.

In a similar way, perhaps Amena Khan, and other Muslim icons, will come to similar conclusions and explore ways in which it is possible to hold to their values and critically examine the implications of their choices.

Finding other ways is a form of optimism and it seems that in these divisive times, the mere act of remaining optimistic is an act of revolution