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Iran: Ahmadinejad's Speech at Columbia University

Iranian President,Mahmoud Ahmadineajd’s speech at Columbia University in New York and university president Lee C. Bollinger’s criticism and tough words during his introduction remarks on Monday 24 September have become a hot topic in media throughout the world. Several Iranian and American bloggers have reacted to the incident. NikAhang Kosar,a leading cartoonist and blogger, has published several cartoons on this subject.

Dave Burdick and a few other students at Columbia University launched a blog named “Ahmadinejad at Columbia” to aggregate coverage of the event. The blog has published several photos of protesters demonstrating against Ahmadinejad’s visit to Columbia.

“No Homosexuals in Iran”

In the Ahmadinejad at Columbia blog we read:

some students believed that by visiting Columbia, the Holocaust denier only gained airtime, and not additional supporters of his questionable views. According to a biomedicine student, Ahmadinejad would have “come out clean” and “been able to manipulate, kind of, the general liberal views of a lot of the people on campus” had he avoided his denial of homosexuals in Iran and of the Holocaust. Others focused on the Iranian leader's ability to answer evasively. “He squirted a lot of the questions, but he did what every politician does so I don’t have less or more respect [for him] than I would for Bush or Cheney,” said Mehmet Bozatli, a twenty-nine-year-old student from Turkey. As revealed during today’s forum, the president of Iran believes that there are no gay people in his country. “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,” he said, eliciting both laughter and gasps from the audience.

Iranian Truth says that Ahmadinejad apparently hasn’t watched the CBC special entitled Inside Iran’s Secret Gay World.

No Freedom of Speech for us

Karim Orghandehpour, blogger and journalist, says [Fa] that the government media has launched a propaganda campaign about the opportunity given to Ahmadinejad to speak at one of the most famous universities of the world, and they defend his right to freedom of speech. The blogger asks why some Iranian academics aren't accorded similar rights in Iran. He also asks why some organisations are deprived of the right to publish newspapers.

View from Iran writes

he promised yesterday to invite professors and students at Columbia to Iran to say whatever they want to say. Why doesn't he make that same offer to Iranian professors and students? Hearing him talking about lack of democracy and human rights in the west is just another way of avoiding the realities in Iran. Mr. President, Iranians are dying for basic human rights and for basic democracy.

Winners and Losers

Ataloha Mahejerani, a former reformist minister, criticized [Fa] Lee Bollinger's remarks about Ahmadinejad and says that he was surprised to hear that Columbia’s President call Iranian president a cruel and petty dictator. Calling Bolliger's words insults, the former minister adds that God wanted this speech to provide a new opportunity for Iran, and that the losers were Israel and Columbia’s president.

Contrary to Mohajerani, Jomhour says [Fa] that it is the Iranian people who are the main losers at the hands of Ahmadnejad’s politics. The blogger asks Mohajerani how many of Americans he thinks believe Ahmadinejad’s claims, adding that the Iranian people feel his lies at a visceral level. Jomhour says that when Mohajerani talks about women’s rights, we should remember the jail sentences imposed upon women activists, and when he mentions academic values, we should remember the students being tortured in Iran.

“USA can become a friend”

Harfeh Hesab says [Fa] that the most important point is Ahmadinejad's message to USA is this: America can become a good friend of Iran.” The blogger adds that the “Iranian President was asked if Iran is ready to negotiate with USA and what are expectations. He answered we think USA can become a good friend of Iran.” Harfeh Hesab writes that it was the most positive message that the Islamic Republic has sent to USA so far.

Angry Cleric

A religious student in Madresyeh Ma wrote [Fa] an open letter to Ahmadinejad and criticized his speech at Columbia. The blogger tells the Iranian president that he may think he was successful at Columbia, but that ihs presence provided an opportunity for Columbia's University president to insult him, which is an insult to all Iranians. He accuses Ahmadinejad of placing his political agenda above respect for his nation. The blogger adds that, contrary to Ahmadinejad's speech, there is no distinction between the USA's government and its people.

16 comments

  • Steve

    Columbia University claims they are America’s best and brightest?

    Did you see the way they applauded Ahmadenijad?

    They are just a bunch of filthy Little Eichmanns.

    Too bad that Cho Seung-hui didn’t go to Columbia University!

  • Farhat quaem Maquami

    HMADI NEJAD PUPPET SHOW: Why Nobody Get the Message

    FARHAT QUAM MAQUAM

    For all true believers in the so-called “Islamic revolution” and opponents of the Iranian regime, please get out of the mould created by the by the Mouth piece of American Intelligence CNN and Fox News, please stop arguing about these Nonsense!

    AhmadiNejad knew exactly what he is going to get, nothing was a surprise!! I did not see anything in his face suggesting he was stoned by the insult!! Then when the response time came, again for a man who did not even have a pen to write-up a note, as if he was not insulted he started to exchange pleasantries complaining when why they treated him like an ass! It was a show because protocol dictates that head of state or any one going to such an event has the speech of the guest so he can have an appropriate response.

    For the Naïve viewer Host acted improperly and the guest was extremely polite and receptive of the insult. They wanted to show the American public that the mouth piece of the Islamic government in Iran can be humiliated, insulted and trashed with impunity, be a person who was speaking not as a scholar but as a megaphone for the Bush administration policies in the Middle East. AhmadiNejad also acted exactly as according to the script prepared for his role: cool quite ignorant person who under the barrage of insult just laughs and swallow whatever shit is thrown at him. Everything was staged to satisfy the American public!! He is no Hugo Chavez! He is not a nationalist like Saddam either he is actually the mouth piece of Israel in Iran or his mutterings are nothing but propaganda to divide the Islamic world!

    The reality is during the so-called Islamic Revolution most of the Iranian wealth has been siphoned out side by Mullahs to Dubai, Australia, and Canada. Iran has become dependant on the American Corporation controlled Gasoline. Iranians are controlled by Gangs of Drug dealers, smugglers and human traders known as Revolutionary Guards whose main duty is suppression of freedom inside and debasing the real Islam which is the religion of peace outside. It is in this that the Iranian brand of Islam becomes the anti theses of Islamic tradition! Iranian brand of Islam is an aberration and their American Mullahs are the mouth piece of Israel! Don’t fall for the lip service of the regime for Palestinians! Iranians actually helped the fragmentation of Palestinian entity into a Gaza strip Concentration Camp and the emasculated West Bank!

    Now Iranians are helping to make another Israeli Design for the Mid East to come to fruition. The division of Iraq!
    From the formation of the Israel, the Jewish State a desire to realize the Zionists biblical fantasy of controlling Euphrates, not only as a source of water but for the control of oil.
    Last week Hakim, the head of the most feared Iranian terrorist gangs in Iraq declared he is whole heartedly support Senator Biden, a self declared Zionist, Resolution to divide Iraq. Hakim is the Iranian hand-picked Mullah who controls Basra and has terrorized all secular Muslims in Iraq!
    Iranian Regime is indebted to the US and Israelis for installing them in Iran by the assistance of General Robert Huyser’s Mission to Tehran.

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  • […] of the United Nations, very much like Fivel from An American Tale, that there are no homosexuals in Iran. The only problem with this statement, is that it is akin to the statement “it all depends on […]

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