Bahar Mustafa and hate speech
In Germany, there is little tolerance of intolerance. That may come as a surprise to some, namely those who are ignorant of Germany's impressive drive to acknowledge and rectify past mistakes. So it is fitting, that in this day and age of racial and gender equality, that we in Germany support others in overcoming racial hatred and other forms of bigotry.
Take Bahar Mustafa, a London-based feminist with an apparent penchant for hate speech. Have you been following her case in the media recently? If not, then check out the following links: Diversity Officer Could Lose Job, Petition to Have Bahar Mustafa Dismissed.
What does one do with someone who allegedly tweeted with the hashtag "kill all white men"? Here is an idea, why not make them a university student union's welfare and diversity officer. At least, that is what Goldsmiths University Students Union in London is effectively doing, by allowing her to remain in that role until a police investigation is concluded. Then again, one would need a police investigation to have actually commenced before it can conclude. What, no police action, how can that be? If we substitute the term "kill all white men" with "kill all women" or "kill all Christians", would that be tolerated quite so readily?
Recently, the "welfare and diversity officer" sent out this little gem regarding an unofficial diversity event: "if you have been invited and you are a man and/or white, then PLEASE DON'T COME" (the uppercasing was Bahar's decision). Well, if I were a white male, and someone who tweeted "kill all white men" invited me to an event, then my self-preservation instincts would probably warn me to steer well clear of that event. I would be more worried if she explicitly asked for white males to attend - it would be akin to the Ku Klux Klan organising a welcome party for the first black man in their neighbourhood.
Luckily, she had a scorcher of a comeback when the criticism flooded in: "I, as an ethnic minority woman, cannot be racist or sexist towards white men, because racism and sexism describe structures of privilege based on race and gender". No seriously, she did say that. Let me repeat "I, as an ethnic minority woman, cannot be racist or sexist towards white men", claims the author of #KillAllWhiteMen.
The feminist logic is enough to make a creationist weep with envy. I am sure there is a potential movie with Ben Stiller in this somewhere.
It is important to point out, that a spokesperson for Goldsmiths said the university had received "a number of complaints" about Mustafa and that "Bahar Mustafa is not an employee of the university and is not a student and the students' union is independent". Some students who are in a position to do something though, are actively pursuing her dismissal. A Change.org petition has been started to seek her dismissal and have the police investigate her activities. So far the petition has reached nearly 18,000 signatures and is growing daily.
So, for those who oppose racism and sexism, then please support the cause and sign the petition, and let us be intolerant of intolerance.