(cw: harassment & racism)
KCL iFemSoc would like to state our condemnation of the media vilification of Bahar Mustafa, Goldsmiths University Welfare Officer. This is not the first (and will sadly not be the last) time a woman of colour has been doxed and vilified by the media when her opponents have disagreed with her political stance; earlier this academic year Malia Bouattia was also besmirched online just like countless other women and non-binary people of colour. These oppressive actions do not occur in isolation, and in fact build up a climate of stigma and fear that women, non-binary and BME students face. As feminists we do not condone character assassination as a form of dissent, especially as this does not occur in a political vacuum, where women and people of colour are consistently silenced or pushed into obscurity.
In this light, it becomes clear how important it is to create and protect safe spaces for women & non-binary students of colour. It is this culture of demonisation and suspicion that makes it clear that marginalised groups deserve & require spaces to discuss their experiences and feel comfortable to do so. Bahar Mustafa’s actions are commendable, as it is through protecting safe spaces that marginalised people are able to organise and create change. Allies who are disgruntled for not being included, should first take a look at their own actions and how they are upholding a status quo which is demonising a woman of colour, and how such behaviour does not make them allies. Furthermore, there are many spaces where allies are welcome, and can participate in the struggle, and in fact, white and cis-male allies should work on converting mainstream spaces into safe places for women and non-binary people of colour, before demanding entry into safe spaces. We need autonomous organisations to stop so called ‘allies’ drowning out marginalised voices; this is the language and process of liberation.
KCL iFemSoc stands in solidarity with: Bahar Mustafa; Malia Bouattia; Sarah El-alfy (recently attacked for fighting for the recognition of BME lives lost from the global south in genocides which are consistently forgotten); the struggle of Muslim students facing ‘Prevent’ measures in their Universities, schools and health services; and the institutional anti-blackness that is incessant in our academic institutions. Our feminism is inherently intersectional, and to fail to condemn this action is to silence our black, brown & non-binary siblings, and is a contradiction to what it means to be feminist. We therefore urge other women’s campaigns to come out in support of Bahar Mustafa.
King’s College London, Intersectional Feminists Society.
Names have been omitted to protect members from further backlash from harassers, however, please feel free to post on the iFemSoc facebook group your support for this message, and sign the open letter: https://www.change.org/p/goldsmiths-college-and-beyond-open-letter-in-solidarity-with-bahar-mustafa-welfare-and-diversity-officer-goldsmiths