Persecution and threats against student activist escalate

Bahar Mustafa - Golsmiths Student's Union Welfare & Diversity Officer

A London student union officer has received death threats in a month-long campaign of harassment, after she organised a meeting for minority students.

Bahar Mustafa, 27, is the Welfare & Diversity Officer of Goldsmiths Students’ Union. Ms Mustafa organised a meeting for black and minority ethnic (BME) women and non-binary people, and asked that white people and men did not attend.

A Goldsmiths student, who is understood to have recently been a member of the xenophobic right-wing UKIP party, claimed that this was racist against white men.

The story was spun as ‘white men banned from anti-racism rally’, and subsequently picked up by student paper the Tab, the Evening Standard and Daily Mail, amongst others. Supporters of Bahar refuted the claims in a statement:

This is not, as has been suggested in the press, anti-white bigotry. Nor is it discrimination, in any sense of the word. The event in question is not a job or scholarship from which white people are barred from applying. It is an organising meeting involving just over ten people, convening to feed back into wider organising meetings.

However, the campaign against her subsequently escalated, with attempts to have Ms Mustafa - who is an elected student union officer - ‘sacked’. She has also received death threats, and has been reported to the police.

Following the media coverage, an assortment of Men’s Rights Activists, British fascists, and participants in the misogynist hate campaign gamergate descended on the twitter hashtag #SupportBaharMustafa with a torrent of abuse.

This effort to ban minorities from meeting without white men present is the latest in a wider campaign portraying left-wing and liberation movements as a totalitarian threat to ‘free speech’ on campuses. Former genocide-denying Marxist turned right-wing contrarian Spiked magazine recently published a ‘free speech ranking’ for universities, with red, amber, and green categories.

Supposed ‘threats to free speech’ which landed universities in the red category include bans on on-campus fascist activity, “zero tolerance” policies on sexual harassment, and recognition of transgender people. Sacking of elected officers for speaking freely is not mentioned.

Posted By

Anonymous
May 22 2015 12:29

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  • This effort to ban minorities from meeting without white men present is the latest in a wider campaign portraying left-wing and liberation movements as a totalitarian threat to ‘free speech’ on campuses.

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Comments

Ryukden
May 22 2015 16:35

You left out an important piece of the situation. Such as her tweeting to #killallwhitemen.

Left wingers aren't a threat to free speech on campus as I'm a liberal student myself. It's progressives who attempt to block movies being shown, speakers from appearing on campus, and petitioning for teachers to get fired for the supposed micro-agression of correcting black students papers.

I'd never read this site before, but after this article I'm unlikely to return. This is horrible.

Fall Back
May 22 2015 16:48
Ryukden wrote:
You left out an important piece of the situation. Such as her tweeting to #killallwhitemen.

Left wingers aren't a threat to free speech on campus as I'm a liberal student myself. It's progressives who attempt to block movies being shown, speakers from appearing on campus, and petitioning for teachers to get fired for the supposed micro-agression of correcting black students papers.

I'd never read this site before, but after this article I'm unlikely to return. This is horrible.

Hope you're ok mate. I can only imagine the horror of living with the constant fear that a student union officer is going to murder you, and every other white man. sad

deedoubs
May 22 2015 17:28

Whether people are fearful of it or not does nothing to change the fact that it is exceptionally intellectually dishonest to leave out the issues of why Bahar Mustafa has become such a controversial figure in the first place. Inform the readers. Don't feed them a line of shit about Mustafa just being some innocent feminist who did nothing wrong and is bearing the brunt of Internet harassment just for 'fighting the good fight'. She's an antagoniser, plain and simple.

DekuScrub3
May 22 2015 17:36

Whatever you think should be done....it's a central piece of the story that was left out and it's intellectually dishonest to do so.

http://www.salon.com/2015/05/19/when_harshtags_backfire_mocking_whitegirltears_and_joking_killallwhitemen_stir_up_more_university_debate/

Fall Back
May 22 2015 18:09

Actually it's about ethics in libertarian communist journalism.

Joseph Kay
May 22 2015 18:15

It's irrelevant to the story. There was already a national media campaign against her, then people went poring over her social media looking for ammunition. It's wilfully naive to pretend this is all about ethics in ironic hashtags - especially when there's hundreds of unambiguously racist and misognynist tweets flying in the other direction. But sure, be angry about an ironic hashtag over actual death threats.

DekuScrub3
May 22 2015 18:22

God, give me the capitalist media over this bullshit any day. At least they will attempt to attempt a rounded version of the story as opposed to leftist hacks fitting reality to a pre-existing narrative.

DekuScrub3
May 22 2015 18:28

Even if you want to make the argument her #killallwhitemen jokes are irrelevant to the original backlash, they have certainly become relevant to the present backlash and that's worth mentioning in the article. Inform your readers. I don't want to get news from a source that just leaves major shit out when it's politically convenient.

Ryukden
May 22 2015 18:29

I live my life without calling for the murder of anyone. It's simpler that way. Get on my level.

DekuScrub3
May 22 2015 18:30

I'm not even offended by "kill all white men" tweets. I'm offended by LibCom having such a low opinion of their readers they will leave what has become a key element of the story out.

Fall Back
May 22 2015 18:33
DekuScrub3 wrote:
Even if you want to make the argument her #killallwhitemen jokes are irrelevant to the original backlash, they have certainly become relevant to the present backlash and that's worth mentioning in the article. Inform your readers. I don't want to get news from a source that just leaves major shit out when it's politically convenient.

You do realise this is a political website, right?

Do you think (genuine question) when, for example, a union publishes an article on a wage dispute that the Union should give the bosses side?

Joseph Kay
May 22 2015 18:33

People are also angry that she's too white, too muslim, too jewish, that her parents live in a house, that she studies a "mickey mouse subject", that she's taxpayer-funded, etc etc. There's no benefit in repeating all the flimsy pretexts of a politically-motivated hate campaign.

autogestión
May 22 2015 18:35

All she did was hold a meeting for BME people and use an ironic hashtag. What's wrong with holding a meeting for particular marginalised groups so that their voices can be heard more clearly than they might at an open-for-all meeting? It's not like that was the only anti-racism meeting ever held at the university, is it? I don't really see what the issue is.

DekuScrub3
May 22 2015 18:36

I also just wanted to add that how she piously identifies herself as a POC over and over again is kind of funny considering she looks about as white as me.

Capsaicin
May 22 2015 18:36

Ten years ago I endured a year long campaign of homophobic and transphobic abuse ending in me becoming homeless in an attempt to stay alive. I wonder if there is anything I said when I was full of pain and anger that can be taken out of context to attack me further? I imagine it is almost certain there is.

It's all class warfare. All the people attacking Bahar Mustafa can carry on fighting for the ruling class and against their own interests if they want, but I know I have to oppose them if I am to hav a life worth living. With the threats towards activists like the ones listed in the article being as common as they are I can understand why she might have posted what she did, even if I think it was a bad idea.

DekuScrub3
May 22 2015 18:40

Re: Fall back.

Not a good comparison. You're reporting on a Twitter brouhaha and basically are like....people are attacking this woman on Twitter....but then you don't even say what most of the attackers are taking issue with. It's like what's even the point of "reporting" it at that point? You can still argue she deserves support while telling us what the brouhaha is about.

Fall Back
May 22 2015 18:44
DekuScrub3 wrote:
Re: Fall back.

Not a good comparison. You're reporting on a Twitter brouhaha and basically are like....people are attacking this woman on Twitter....but then you don't even say what most of the attackers are taking issue with. It's like what's even the point of "reporting" it at that point? You can still argue she deserves support while telling us what the brouhaha is about.

No, it's a right wing media campaign to vilify a BME woman attempting to cost cause her to lose her job, degree and have her arrested, being supported by the far right. Not just a "Twitter brouhaha". She is being attacked for organising BME women autonomously. I don't give a fuck whatever shit those seeking to attack her have dragged up. It's irrelevant to why she is being attacked, and irrelevant to whether she deserves solidarity.

DekuScrub3
May 22 2015 18:51
Fall Back wrote:
DekuScrub3 wrote:
Re: Fall back.

Not a good comparison. You're reporting on a Twitter brouhaha and basically are like....people are attacking this woman on Twitter....but then you don't even say what most of the attackers are taking issue with. It's like what's even the point of "reporting" it at that point? You can still argue she deserves support while telling us what the brouhaha is about.

No, it's a right wing media campaign to vilify a BME woman attempting to cost cause her to lose her job, degree and have her arrested, being supported by the far right. Not just a "Twitter brouhaha". She is being attacked for organising BME women autonomously. I don't give a fuck whatever shit those seeking to attack her have dragged up. It's irrelevant to why she is being attacked, and irrelevant to whether she deserves solidarity.

Lol.....back in the real world.

Look, I've written provocative left wing stuff for places like Salon and stuff and faced Twitter brouhahas. It's part of the game. If you write deliberately provocative stuff, expect people to get provoked.

Anyway, my main point is at least tell us what the spat is about. You don't have to agree with the criticisms, but at least briefly summarize them. All it takes is a couple sentences. Otherwise it's just not even worth coming here for "news."

plasmacutter
May 22 2015 19:05
Quote:
No, it's a right wing media campaign to vilify a BME woman attempting to cost cause her to lose her job

She has not simply utilized harmless hashtags. She has actively excluded whites and men from university events.

She has vilified herself by applying racist and sexist bigotry to university policy, then doubling down and posing in front of pictures of "male tears" when challenged.

She has abused her position, and abuse of your position is grounds for termination in ANY employment, as is documented discrimination and, in the UK, hate speech.

I remind you she is a "diversity officer", actively silencing people based on their sex and race, the opposite of promoting diversity!

If she were a man excluding blacks and women, you'd skip the strongly worded condemnation and go straight for the firearms. A failure on the university's part to terminate her for this abuse is an open approval of bigoted discrimination.

Fall Back
May 22 2015 19:00
DekuScrub3 wrote:
Lol.....back in the real world.

Look, I've written provocative left wing stuff for places like Salon and stuff and faced Twitter brouhahas. It's part of the game. If you write deliberately provocative stuff, expect people to get provoked.

Anyway, my main point is at least tell us what the spat is about. You don't have to agree with the criticisms, but at least briefly summarize them. All it takes is a couple sentences. Otherwise it's just not even worth coming here for "news."

Sorry, which real world is this? One where she hasn't been reported to the police? One where there isn't an active campaign to remove her from her job? Where there isn't a petition of several thousand calling on her to be stripped of her degree? Where the right wing media aren't publishing almost daily attack pieces on her? Where she hasn't faced a barrage of racist abuse and death threats?

Enjoy your real world of writing provocative salon articles, where nothing really matters and people aren't facinf grevious consequences for organising. It's sounds much nicer than this one.

workingclass
May 22 2015 19:03

She is a racist. A posh middle class racist. A posh middle class white racist pretending to be "black". Look at her! Embarrassing that libcom are sucking up to intersectional union bureucrats. People like her are why anarchism is a joke to normal people.

DekuScrub3
May 22 2015 19:07

Re: Fall Back

Cool, yeah, ignore everything I was saying. Good chat, brah. smile

Evie
May 22 2015 19:16
plasmacutter wrote:
She has actively excluded whites and men from university events.

It was an event for BME women and non-binary people. Of course white people and men were asked not to attend, this is basic safe spaces practise. Those of you that have a problem with minority groups organising autonomously are just proving the need for them to do so.

This article puts it better than I could, hopefully you'll be able to read it through all your male tears.

Joseph Kay
May 22 2015 19:17
Ryukden
Member for
2 hours 45 min

Deedoubs
Member for
1 hour 50 min

Plasmacutter
Member for
25 min 42 sec

Workingclass
Member for
16 min 10 sec

Seems legit.

jef costello
May 22 2015 19:18

I'm not sure I agree with her and I can't be bothered to sift through all these tweets, but regardless of precisely what she said the campaign against her is not based on people actually suffering from discrimination as a result of her actions (I would be willing to bet very good money that none of the people who've signed up to complain would have gone to these meetings) I'm not particularly defending her but it's partly the mob mentality of twitter and social media and partly the desperate desire people have to explain aay their unhappiness through a notion of victimhood (usually hiding petty biogotry) that is motivating this. Sure she said some ill-advised stuff, but I think if we looked back on anyone's social media accounts we'd find something, people say things without thinking too much.
I'd be interested to know if anyone who is attacking her has ever felt the need to speak up about any other forms of discrimination.

Fall Back
May 22 2015 19:19
Evie wrote:
It was an event for BME women and non-binary people. Of course white people and men were asked not to attend, this is basic safe spaces practise. Those of you that have a problem with minority groups organising autonomously are just proving the need for them to do so.

This article puts it better than I could, hopefully you'll be able to read it through all your male tears.

Also worth noting that it's not even remotely unusual. Almost every Trade Union and student union up and down the country has self organised groups only open to members of that group.

Fuck, not even unions, most major public sector employers will have something like this.

plasmacutter
May 22 2015 19:36
Quote:
It was an event for BME women and non-binary people.

No, it was supposed to be an 'open discussion' on these people's experiences, except for her bigoted exclusion of whites and men!

Even if you operate under the bigoted assumption whites and men are by nature racist/sexist, excluding them is STILL racist and sexist itself, and thwarts the goal of increasing diversity by preventing exposure to the experiences of BMEs/non-binaries which might lead to this magical concept of "understanding".

So, let's review:

She's a race and gender bigot.
She's doing the opposite of her job.
She's abusing her power.

If I did any one of these things, I'd be out of my job, so why is she still in hers!?

EDIT: Nice attempt at genetic fallacy and ad-hominem "Joseph Kay"

DekuScrub3
May 22 2015 19:23

Side note... I don't really get why "male tears" is like the feminist meme du jour.....it's like, wow, shame men for displaying emotional vulnerability! That really breaks down the traditional gender binary

Evie
May 22 2015 19:44

Plasmacutter
I linked a whole article that answers all of your points. Maybe read it.

DekuScrub3
'Male tears' refer to the crocodile tears of mens' rights activists (and also men who side against feminists while claiming to believe in class solidarity)

plasmacutter
May 22 2015 20:32

Evie, your article hypocritically calls for racist and sexist exclusion as a remedy for racism and sexism, while uncritically dispensing the bigoted stereotype of "white privilege", which the 50% of white people in grinding poverty across the anglosphere would bristle upon hearing.

Further, it advocates such anti-democratic and repressive policies as censorship and silencing of parties based on their race, sex, and/or political beliefs.

Sorry, a racist autocracy is not the solution to people who "may" disagree with you (THE HORROR)!

In short, the very concept of a "safe space" is hypocritical and orwellian in its bigotry. Not only are the excluded parties censored, the stated reasons for their exclusion amount to hate speech and blanket defamation, and serve to de-humanize them to other parties who are "allowed" within.

EDIT:
Vilifying critics of feminism? Yeah, I think i'm done taking you seriously. If the hashtag were #killallwomen or #femaletears there would be world-wide witch hunt against the "sexist pigs", but against men.. a-ok, right? Feminism is the world's most coddled and accepted hate movement, and if feminist laws since 1982 were gender-reversed women's rights activists would be howling with rage, but expect men to suck it up because they're "toxic".