I have no problem with Ahmadinejad speaking, although I wouldn’t have cried suppresion or censorship if the invitation had been pulled. I figured he’d say something disgusting…I just never figured it would be something as batshit-insane as that.
Well, since my friend Mazdak moved here, that’s one fewer.
It’s a very common sentiment: plenty of places are convinced that homosexuality is strictly a western thing, that doesn’t exist in the pure bosom of the motherland, except when spread there by the corrupting, degenerate Europeans.
I was struck by that part of his speech as well. Can’t explain? Deny, deny, deny! It seemed to me like the Iranian president neither answered questions effectively nor said anything new. I’m not sure I would consider that a success.
But I was conflicted by Dean Bollinger’s actions, and I’m not sure I can add to the chorus of “bravos” there. ISTM that when you invite someone to your school (or your home), you have certain obligations to them as a guest, which would include the minimum civility of not insulting them to their face. If you cannot in good conscience do that, then you shouldn’t allow them to come. I agreed with the Iranain president that the Dean was both rude and insulting, and whatever their own feelings of their president, I don’t imagine the Iranian populace will be any more gratified to hear their president has been publicly insulted than many Americans would be to hear our president was publicly insulted during a similar appearance in Iran. And yes, I know, Bush is the anti-Christ, he would completely deserve it, perhaps if we’re lucky they would set him on fire, blah blah blah; my point is that for many respect of the office precludes insulting the office-holder when he or she is acting in his/her official capacity.
So I did not think that was well done of the Dean.
ETA: I would have liked to have seen more sensitivity on this matter in this case in particular, because even knowing very little about Persian culture, I have heard how much importance they place on honoring a guest.
I was just about to say, that immediately made me think of the song ‘Starlings on the Slipstream’ by Pavement that goes: “There’s no women in Alaska,
There’s no creoles in Vermont.” And of course, no gays in Iran.
Yeah, Bollinger blew it. Was he trying to show that he’s a tough guy, even though he was “soft” enough to invite the guy? He set Ahmedenajad up as a sort of martyr. Even Charles Krauthammer gave his some grief over that.
The audience laughed out loud at the gay comment, as well they should. It’s nutty. Let the guy hang himself with his own noose, though-- don’t give the audience any reason to be sympathetic to him.
We have no homosexuals in Iran. Yeah, only in the decedent west does that sort of thing occur. :rolleyes:
IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency provided an old fashioned Pravda style report on the Columbia speech by Ahmadinejad, so contrary to the alarm expressed by some Dopers about Bollinger’s remarks upsetting the Iranian people, hell, hardly any of them will even get to read them.
From the following link, this is the kind of glop they’ll read concerning the speech:
That’s the lying glurge that was fed to the Iranian people.
Why should it matter?
When dealing with polities like Iran, you’re dealing with the criminals in charge and why should anyone care what they think?
As for “the people” of Iran, only a tiny number will ever get access to what was actually said at Columbia and I doubt that they will be particularly offended at the few mild truths uttered by Dean Bollinger.