It’s been a few months since Goldsmiths student union diversity officer first found herself in the eye of a storm accusing her of being racist and sexist. When 27-year-old Bahar Mustafa organised a meeting to discuss diversifying the curriculum she wrote on Facebook that men and white people were not invited and that it was a space for “BME (black and minority ethnic) women and non-binary people”.
Under this she added: “Don’t worry lads we will give you and allies things to do ;)”. Although the meeting later dropped the ban and welcomed everyone, many students were outraged. They launched a petition calling for her to be removed her from her position, saying she “made students feel intimidated” and “encouraged or expressed hatred based on an individual’s race, gender, or social position” among other accusations.
She defended her position at the time by saying that minority women could not be racist. In a statement read out to fellow students, she accused the media of embarking on a “witch hunt and shameful character assassination”.
Mustafa might not be the diversity officer anymore but the drama isn’t over. Today, Scotland Yard said she had been summoned after police received a complaint of “racially motivated malicious communication”.
This is related to messages sent between November 2014 and May 2015, including the Facebook post, and to tweets in which she joked using the hashtag #killallwhitemen, as well as using the term “white trash”. Interesting. I wonder how long it'll take for every sexist man who’s ever posted offensive bullshit on the internet to be summoned to court over menacing messages. She’s gaining support on Twitter from well-known feminist writers such as Laurie Penny and her own hashtag #IStandWithBaharMustafa has launched.
The witch-hunting of Bahar Mustafa over the sort of tweet I receive a hundred times a day is shameful and depressing.
White Mustafa’s tweet was perhaps ill-advised, her court summons prove that the internet is a place of double standards. Who knew? If Mustafa is being taken to court over something that innocuous, there is surely a plethora of people who deserve to be called up too.