Why #IStandWithBaharMustafa

Bahar Mustafa a student “diversity officer” of Goldsmiths University is now meant to appear at Bromley magistrates court on 5th November on the charge of sending a “threatening communication”.

According to this article from The Guardian she specifically faces two charges:

One is sending a communication conveying a threatening message between 10 November 2014 and 31 May 2015. The second is for sending a grossly offensive message via a public communication network between 10 November 2014 and 31 May 2015.

In addition, the article states that a spokesman from The Metropolitan police in London said in a statement:

A woman interviewed under caution regarding a complaint of racially motivated malicious communication made on a social media network has been summonsed to court.

She came into notoriety earlier this year, when she barred white people and men from attending a student protest against racism and inequality (ironic, I know), explaining the event was only for “BME woman and non-binary people”. However, what really got her into trouble was when she posted the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen on social media – which lead her to being accused of racism (by the way she posted another tweet calling someone “white trash“).

After the backlash for this ludicrous and patronising policy she then tried to justify it by stating; “I can’t be racist if I’m an ethnic minority” because “racism and sexism describes structures of privilege based on race and gender” therefore “women of colour and minority genders cannot be racist or sexist because we do not stand to benefit from such a system”.

This excuse is obviously piffle, especially as she is a white woman of Turkish extraction, a postgraduate and a a full-time student union officer at the quite bourgeois Goldsmith’s College in London. I really doubt Bahar hasn’t benefited from the system or that she is high on the oppressed minority food chain.

Bahar belongs to a very censorious, authoritarian and regressive part of the left, who seek to act like the thought police and enforce the ordinances of political correctness on student campuses in the name of “equality and diversity”. Let us not forget, Goldsmith University whom she works for, is the same place where feminist comedian Kate Smurthwaite had a gig cancelled after members from the Feminist society threatened to disrupt the event over disagreements with her views on decriminalising prostitution.

It would be too easy for me to gloat and laugh at the irony of this. Though, truthfully it is very tempting. “Justice has been served”, “Karma is a bitch”, “What goes around, comes around”. Pick your favourite cliche comrades!

However this reminds me of a quote by the late great Christopher Hitchens in his famous speech on Freedom of Expression where he said those who seek to restrict Free speech “in potentia make a rod for their own back”. Since ultimately we have no Sanhedrin or divine will that can definitively tell us what ideas we can or cannot think or express.

I’m not a lawyer (yet) so I can’t speak to the exact details of the case or cast a definitive judgement as to whether she is innocent or guilty of breaking the specific law.

However, I am very worried that there is this precedent of people being taken to the courts and even put in prison by the state for simply making comments that are deemed to be “offensive”, “obscene” or “indecent”. I personally do not believe it is a matter for the law to deal with the intellectual excrement that occasionally reveals itself on Twitter and other forms of social media.

This is an opportunity for Free speech advocates (both left and right) to really grab the moral high ground and defend it, even for racialist, authoritarian cranks like Bahar Mustafa. Freedom of speech is so vital for a free society and we should always be sceptical of attempts to limit it; especially when it’s done in the name of “niceness” or “decency”. It is also more crucial in this year of 2015 which has been a disaster for freedom of speech on all fronts worldwide.

Secondly, it would reveal to Bahar and her ideological allies that freedom of speech is not a left or right issue. It is simply a core universal value you are either for or against and there is no compromise on it. If Bahar can be hurled before a judge and potentially go to prison for tweets she posted, then it could happen to any one of us as well.

I stand with Bahar Mustafa and defend her express her wrong opinions freely. I doubt she would do the same for me but I hope this does teach her a very valuable lesson in reciprocation.

So, comrades I invite you also to stand with Bahar Mustafa. Even reluctantly so.

2 responses to “Why #IStandWithBaharMustafa

  1. I understand the premise of your post and I too stand with her. However I feel you are not looking at it realistically. There are two types of supporters for her; those like us ‘normal people’ who believe in freedom of speech, and those who fall under the ‘feminist/sjw/progressive (regressive) left.’ Those types do not believe in free speech. And I think it’s naive to think they will see the error of their ways.

    You must understand how these people think. To them, this case is ‘proof’ of sexism and racism to women and ethnic minorities. Feminists believe in the patriarchy and the others believe in ‘white and male privilege.’ The common theme between the two is that they think the white male is the oppressor.

    This law in their mind was to ‘protect women and ethnic minorities’ in particular because of ‘rampant sexism to women and racism towards ethnic minorities.’ That’s why this law was pushed in the first place. These people don’t disagree with the law, the law is just in their view, it’s the target that is wrong. To them, she is just another victim of patriarchy or the quite man oppressing her. They don’t care about free speech, that just want to protect ‘special groups.’ In their mind, Bahar is ‘punching up’ and this supposedly negates her bigotry.

    Again, I feel it’s incredibly naïve to think they will change. These people are brainwashed, and function only in circular logic. Because of their views of patriarchy/white privilege/male privilege this isn’t an attack on free speech as a concept, this is just an attack on a woman who is an ethnic minority. I feel if she does get off, no change will come from this in regards to the law.

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  2. @Helko1 I understand what you are saying and I don’t deny that the “SJW” mentality will be hard to convince people out of because of the emotional, ideological claptrap attached to it. However I believe it is not impossible, all I want is for them to at least think on the irony, some may get the point others will not.

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