Bahar Mustafa in a photo posted to her Facebook page.
A student leader in the United Kingdom has come under fire for allegedly attempting to exclude whites from an event.
“If you’re a man and/or white PLEASE DON’T COME,” Mustafa wrote, according to a screenshot of a Facebook event page that appears on the Telegraph. She also wrote the event was “BME Women and non-binary only” — that is, for “black and minority ethnic” women and those who do not identify as heterosexual or homosexual.
She added: “Don’t worry lads we will give you and allies things to do.”
A student publication and the British press were furious.
“It was supposed to be a gathering to celebrate racial unity and protest against inequality,” student publication the Tab wrote. “So imagine the horror when organisers of an anti-racism event BANNED men and white people from attending.”
The Spectator called the event “essentially the proposition of racial segregation in a British university.” Further: “It’s trussed up in the language of the new PC – ‘non-binary’, ‘safe-space’, ‘BME Women’, ‘OUR liberation’ – but there are no two ways about this: this is division along racial lines, and it is astonishing that this is deemed acceptable.”
Mustafa, who posted a photo on her Facebook page on April 8 apparently celebrating the anniversary of the death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, did not return requests for comment. However, she explained her part-time position at Goldsmiths student union online.
“We offer confidential advice for those experiencing prejudice, harassment, or problems with your course, financial difficulties, work-related problems, childcare issues, mental health concerns, anything at all!” according to the job description on her blog. “Or if you just want to pop in and have a chat/ rant and a cup of tea with us we’re here to offer care and support.”
She also explained her coursework.
“I am particularly interested in looking at the gendered body in Japanese pornographic anime and horror through a Foucauldian framework in order to analyse the West’s gaze upon a world it attempts to categorize,” Mustafa wrote. “My politics are intersectional, queer, feminist, anti-racist . . . I am a working class, Turkish Cypriot, queer, disabled woman and activist.”
A event listing for the meeting, which was held Wednesday, explained its purpose.
“Occupations (especially in higher education) are too often dominated by white, male, and able-bodied people,” according to the listing. “From the media team tasked with outreach to the rest of the student body to who chairs the general assembly meetings, our occupation was initially very white and male and therefore deterred BME and women (especially BME women) and disabled students.”
Some found such arguments objectionable.
“For Bahar to have the nerve to write this is patronising beyond belief,” an anonymous source told the Tab. “. . . The irony that she (or they) think that they are diversifying the student community in the name of feminism and multiculturalism is laughable.”
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