Bahar Mustafa's Racism Controversy

Bahar Mustafa's Racism Controversy

Updated Oct 07, 2015 at 01:38PM EDT by Don.

Added May 22, 2015 at 03:16PM EDT by Don.

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Bahar Mustafa's Racism Controversy refers to a series of statements by the University of London's Goldsmith Students' Union (GSU) diversity officer Bahar Mustafa, which many accused of promoting racism and racial segregation in mid-2015.


On February 4th, 2015, Mustafa posted a status update to Facebook promoting an event for black and minority ethnic (BME) people only (shown below, left). On February 12th, The Spectator[1] published an article which criticized the event as a type of "racial segregation." On April 15th, Mustafa published a post to Facebook urging any white men to refrain from attending an event at the University of London for BME women (shown below, right).

Bahar Mustafa 15 April at 10:21 . Hey i made as many of you hosts so please invite loads of BME Women and non-binary people!! Also if you've been invited and you're a man and/ or white PLEASE DON'T COME just cos i invited a bunch of people and hope you will be responsible enough to respect this is a BME Women and non-binary event only... Don't worry lads we will give you and allies things to do Like Comment Share Nelly Da Conceicao Estrela likes this. Bahar Mustafa February at 11:43 To all BME people: don't forget before the screening, BME ONLY social happening at Cafe Natura 5PM... free food!! And to ALL people: Palestine soc are hosting an event RHB 142... come to ALL THE THINGS xxx Likes 1 Comment Like Comment Share

Notable Developments

Mustafa's Response

On May 6th, 2015, the eastlondonlines YouTube channel uploaded a video titled "Goldsmiths Students' Union officer refutes accusation of racism and sexism," in which Mustafa defends herself by claiming her status as an "ethnic minority woman" prevents her from being racist or sexist (shown below).

"I, an ethnic minority woman, cannot be racist or sexist toward white men, because racism and sexism describe structures of privilege based on race and gender and therefore women of color and minority genders cannot be racist or sexist since we do not stand to benefit from such a system."


That day, supporters of Mustafa began tweeting message in her defense with the hashtag "#supportbaharmustafa." On May 14th, YouTuber Sargon of Akkad uploaded a video criticizing Mustafa (shown below).

On May 20th, the news site Breitbart[2] published an article titled "Twitter says 'no' to hipster racism: #supportbaharmustafa tag taken over", which highlighted examples of Mustafa's critics hijacking the hashtag.

Petition for Removal

On May 15th, a petition was created on[5] for police to arrest Mustafa for "hate speech and calls for murder," which gathered upwards of 18,900 supporters in the first week. On May 19th, The Standard[3] reported that students at the university started a petition[4] to have Mustafa removed from her post as diversity officer for tweeting the hashtags "#killallwhitemen", "#misandry" and for calling someone "white trash" while using the official GSU Twitter account. That day, a post linking to the article was submitted to the /r/NotTheOnion[6] subreddit, which reached over 5,200 votes and 2,700 comments in the first 72 hours. All comments in the post were subsequently purged by moderators.

Criminal Charge

On October 6th, 2015, The Guardian[8] reported that Mustafa had been charged with "sending a threatening communication" for tweeting the hashtag "#killalllwhitemen" and was set to appear in court the following month. That day, several posts about the charge reached the front page of Reddit, where many noted that the United Kingdom did not have the kind of free speech protections available in the United States. Meanwhile, the conservative news site Breitbart[7] published an article titled "Bahar Mustafa Should Never Have Been Arrested For Tweeting" by staff writer Milo Yiannopoulos, which criticized Mustafa's arrest as an affront to freedom of speech. On October 7th, The Escapist Forums member Fallow submitted a thread about the charges. In the coming days, many Twitter users used the hashtag #IStandWithBaharMustafa[9] in protest of the charges, including those who had previously criticized Mustafa's statements (shown below).

Alison Phipps @alisonphipps Follow I trust that all those professing to care about free speech will stand with Bahar Mustafa #IStandWith BaharMustafa RETWEETS FAVORITES 37 25 7:49 AM-6 Oct 2015 Allum Bokhari @LibertarianBlue Follow #IStandWithBaharMustafa and so should anyone else who supports free speech RETWEETS FAVORITES 125 194 10:23 AM-6 Oct 2015 Whenindoubtdo @whenindoubtdo Follow I'm all for Mustafa getting her just deserts but charges like this affects the freedom of speech of everyone. #IStandWithBaharMustafa RETWEETSFAVORITES 28 40 10:16 AM- 6 Oct 2015 Milo Yiannopoulos @Nero Following 3/ 1 don't want to live in a world where the government gets involved in policing speech. Anyone's speech. So, #IStandWith BaharMustafa RETWEETS FAVORITES 399 588 1:06 PM - 6 Oct 2015 13

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Top Comments

Mistress Fortune
Mistress Fortune

"…in which Mustafa defends by saying her status as an “ethnic minority woman” prevents her from being racist or sexist"

Fuck that, racism and sexism is racism and sexism regardless of who is doing it or who's the target. If a black person is saying he or she wants to "kill everyone who's not black" then they're being just as racist as a white supremacist.


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