Tuesday, September 25, 2007

and now, I give you Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!

You didn't think I was gonna let this slide, did you?

In fact, 2 days ago, I got into an interesting brawl over this, on internet!

My position: he is disturbingly religious, doesn't believe in freedom of speech, prosecutes anyone who doesn't agree with him and his taunting of US and Israel could put Iran in some serious jeopardy! (basically he has stripped the country of any democracy and civil liberties)

Other people's position: he has a lot of support, was democratically elected and stands up for the sovereignty of Iran and won't budge.

My fear: Columbia was going to give him a podium to say whatever he wants, to basically "set the record straight" as he had planned.

What actually happened: he got an earful (or as they say, a lesson in freedom of speech) from Columbia's President and Dean of SIPA!

"Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator," he said, to applause, before directly issuing Mr. Ahmadinejad a series of strongly worded questions on his country's poor record of civil rights and support of terrorism. "I doubt that you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions. But your avoiding them will in itself be meaningful to us. I do expect you to exhibit the fanatical mindset that characterizes so much of what you say and do."

Updates:

Thanks to Niloofar, I found this video. I think this is the full speech.

Also the full transcript is here.

Some Excerpts:
“Our nation has the highest level of participation in elections. 80-90% turn out for elections, over half of whom are women. So how can you say that they are not free? In Iran, every family that is given a girl is ten times happier than having a son.”

"We don't have homosexuals in Iran like you do in United States."

“Come and speak with our university students. You are officially invited.”


Just In: Iranian University Chancellors Ask Bollinger 10 Questions

3 Comments:

At 12:35 AM, Blogger Niloofar said...

http://columbiaspectator.com/ahmadinejad/

I think you can find some of them here.

do you want to see what we feel here in Iran?: it is so sad that you feel happy if your president is Humiliated by the people who are not even truly right. It is just so sad that we feel happy about this :(

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger The City Gal said...

Perhaps the insults were uncalled for, but what did Ahmadinejad expect? A warm greeting? Endorsement? Of course they wouldn't like him at a liberal university like Columbia!

One reason that I didn't like the idea of him speaking at an American university was that this now has become about integrity of one nation against the other. Politicians are not the right people to represent a nation or defend a nation's integrity (especially people like Ahmadinejad, Bush or Saddam Hossein).

I agree that Ahmadinejad was cornered and asked some real tough questions, but to be honest he didn't offer very good answers, either! His answers pretty much backed Bollinger's accusations! For example:

"Our nation has the highest level of participation in elections. 80-90% turn out for elections, over half of whom are women. So how can you say that they are not free?” "We don't have homosexuals in Iran like you do in United States."

I don't think Monday's event had anything to do with ruining the integrity of the "great Iranian nation". It was just Bollinger vs. Ahmadinejad, to show that the man has no understanding of civil liberties, and that, everyone knew. By going to Columbia, he only made a fool of himself.

 
At 11:40 AM, Blogger Leili said...

"Iranian University Chancellors Ask Bollinger 10 Questions"

stupid and childish. when are they going to stop hiding behind nonsense?! so what?! in what crazy world to respond to a wrong deed one brings examples of somebody else's mistakes?!!!

توهینی که از ایران شروع شد

 

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