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Ahmadinejad: "In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals"

Ahmadinejad

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave an address at Columbia University this afternoon.

Ahmadinejad was asked a question about gay executions in Iran, which he attempted to avoid by referring to the death penalty in the United States, ignoring the sexuality aspect of the question completely. Moderator Dean Coatsworth kept on him however, and received this answer:

"In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you that we have it."

Ahmadinejad was then booed by the audience.

Of course, perhaps what Ahmadinejad really meant to say is...we get rid of them.

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Comments

  1. My boyfriend is a student at Columbia and got a chance to go. He texted me from the event to say "There is all kinds of crazy going on here." I'm waiting for the recap.

    I'm still struggling with what Columbia hoped to gain by this. Personally, I think it's quite disturbing they gave him a platform. We all know he's horrible. Did we really need further confirmation?

    Posted by: David | Sep 24, 2007 3:11:32 PM


  2. Carl Sagan said: It is not possible to be convinced of anything to a believer because his/her belief is not based on the evidence, but in a deep necessity to believe.

    Posted by: rdiazsi | Sep 24, 2007 3:15:18 PM


  3. It's like my Mom saying there are no gay people in South Dakota. Ugh.

    I do think that this is a great academic platform where students and faculty can ask those questions in a public forum and it's all on record and not skewed for political reasons, for the time being.

    Posted by: Allen | Sep 24, 2007 3:17:36 PM


  4. What an arrogant medieval gnome, what a vicious fundamentalist POS.

    I do support Columbia's decision to invite him because he was thoroughly and deservedly betchslapped by their president, Lee C. Bollinger, in his opening remarks.

    This was an opportunity for a ruthless tin pot dictator to understand that there is widespread disdain for his views. This is always a worthwhile message.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | Sep 24, 2007 3:18:07 PM


  5. anybody remember the "There are no gay cowboy's" comment after Brokeback???


    bigots come in all shapes and sizes don't they??

    Posted by: rich | Sep 24, 2007 3:33:41 PM


  6. OK, so did Columbia invite him to speak so that he could make a public ass of himself? It's like Britney all over again. Seriously! Was he going to speak about something profound or substantive? I didn't attend, but a person that has openly stated that the Holocaust didn't happen clearly is a freak. Why would you invite him to speak. I don't get it. The only thing that makes sense to me is that it was meant to publicly humiliate him, but how do you do that to someone that doesn't understand their own ignorance? Might as well just have George W. Bush speak.

    Posted by: JR | Sep 24, 2007 3:34:29 PM


  7. Goering and the Nazis were convicted of crimes against humanity. So were the Serb mass murderers. Mugabe, Pinochet (until his death) and a host of other conservative, dictatorial murderers are afraid to travel outside their countries for fear of being arrested.

    We can look forward to the day when criminals like Ahmadinejad, who murders boys who love boys and women who want to be treated as human, and major war criminals like Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell, Rumsfeld and Gates, responsible for the murder of over 650,000 Iraqis, and Bin Laden, the coward who slaughtered 3,000 civilians are called before the dock of world opinion.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Sep 24, 2007 3:37:41 PM


  8. The reason to invite him to speak is because we are (almost) all interested in what he has to say, regardless of whether it is asinine or flies in the face of facts.

    The United States is a society that guarantees freedom of speech.

    This event is exhibit A of that.

    Posted by: Alan | Sep 24, 2007 3:38:47 PM


  9. Free speech is our friend.

    Allen, there are gay boys and girls in South Dakota? Who knew? ;-)

    Posted by: KJ | Sep 24, 2007 3:45:25 PM


  10. Fastlad, I wasn't looking at it that way. I'm just too pessimistic regarding the situation, I guess.

    Clearly, he has a marked disdain for our way of life (meaning American). Coupled to that is what I'd agree in characterizing as a medieval social and politic outlook (good word choice). But I think it's rather unlikely a man like him, whose beliefs and practices stem from a much deeper ideology than I could understand, would take anything productive from badgering by a group of students and teachers I'm sure he views as not only horribly wrong in opinion and action but even blasphemous. If that was Columbia's intent, to teach him, then I guess it's a noble pursuit, but in a Middle East already so colored by distaste for Americans, do we really need to further antagonize ANOTHER leader? Surely, booing and attacking and criticizing the President of Iran is not going to make Iran and it's allies any nicer...

    Then again, it's only a speech at Columbia. And it's only a group of students. But these days, it's always only something, and then the snowball starts its roll...

    Posted by: David | Sep 24, 2007 3:47:09 PM


  11. Why did they invite this guy to speak at Columbia University anyway? He's an enemy of our country, of Israel, the leader of a pariah nation which is probably developing nuclear weapons in contravention of international law and arming combatants fighting US troops in Iraq. Seriously, I would protest if I was going to a school who invited a guy like this to speak.

    Posted by: Meeg | Sep 24, 2007 3:48:37 PM


  12. "Dictator" is not exactly correct, as Ahmadinejad was elected. He was elected on an anti-U.S. platform, the result of the Bushies spreading American "good will" throughout the Middle East. I don't agree with any of his rhetoric, and his treatment of gays in Iran is barbaric, but free speech is a critical element in our democracy. It guarantees us the right to speak up as well. Though I don't get why the university invited him to speak. That said, Iran is a very large and influential country in the Middle East. The U.S. would itself a favor by showing a bit of respect even though he does not deserve any. Why the Bushies think they can accomplish anything by not speaking to the Iranian government is beyond me. It's like making a two year old think you're not there because they can't see you...

    Posted by: Gary | Sep 24, 2007 3:50:35 PM


  13. Why did they invite this guy to speak at Columbia University anyway? He's an enemy of our country, of Israel, the leader of a pariah nation which is probably developing nuclear weapons in contravention of international law and arming combatants fighting US troops in Iraq. Seriously, I would protest if I was going to a school who invited a guy like this to speak.

    Posted by: Meeg | Sep 24, 2007 3:50:43 PM


  14. At least there was not cheers and applause after his comments.

    I have to agree with the thoughts here; I am glad Columbia invited him to speak, un-abridged and "Fox Sanitized" for consumption by the general, moronic populus. Crazy needs to be heard; perhaps it will be a wakeup call to the Idiot-in-Command in the US that he invaded the wrong country.

    Posted by: Rad | Sep 24, 2007 3:51:13 PM


  15. Sorry but I've changed my mind, I saw the hanging images on your link and it is enough for me. Boot this guy out NOW.
    By the way he has shown repeatedely that he hates, loathes, Americans and Isreali's.
    I personally think it is wrong to give a forumn to such hatred. Democracy is one thing but this guy is dangerous. I seriously wish him an unpleasant, and very uncomfortable visit. By the way your tax dollars are picking up the tab for his security, I would urge someone to pickup a phone and call a rep to voice a complaint.

    Posted by: John | Sep 24, 2007 4:01:56 PM


  16. These people really do live in the 16th century. What homosexuals? The one you probably fucked in the ass before killing him. That one!

    Posted by: Pugzz | Sep 24, 2007 4:06:06 PM


  17. These people really do live in the 16th century. What homosexuals? The one you probably fucked in the ass before killing him. That one!

    Posted by: Pugzz | Sep 24, 2007 4:06:20 PM


  18. These people really do live in the 16th century. What homosexuals? The one you probably fucked in the ass before killing him. That one!

    Posted by: Pugzz | Sep 24, 2007 4:06:36 PM


  19. It's probably the first time he's been booed by any audience. Was he surprised? Columbia invited him of course in the hopes he would criticize the Iraq War and Bush, but he wasn't going to be easily contained in his remarks, was he--proving that intelligence tends to be inversely proportional to institutional authority at universities. One wonders if the old waspy anti-semitic regime is still pulling some strings at Columbia, long after they were thought buried. However, for those who think he's beyond the pale, Noam Chomsky is equally crazy, says almost all the same things, and welcomed just about everywhere.

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Sep 24, 2007 4:09:41 PM


  20. ok, it is me or is he wearing Dubya's facial expression??

    You know, the one where he looks like he's going......"uhhh, I dunno"

    Posted by: rich | Sep 24, 2007 4:10:10 PM


  21. No gay people in Iran? yeah, right.. This is what happens when religious extremism finds a voice in government (just like when right-wing wingnuts get a voice in this country -- if they had their way, there wouldn't be homosexuals here either). But there are many moderate elements in Iran -- they need to have a voice.

    I'm a faculty member at Columbia and there is general support here (not all, but most) in allowing Ahmadinejad to come here to speak. I also have many Iranian-American friends.

    Bollinger felt obliged (with all the political pressure) to give the guy a good thrashing before his talk -- he might have gone a little too far -- but I think this was probably necessary. Everyone is in agreement that this guy is a loon, but we must remember that it is really the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) who wields the power in Iran. But the campus has erupted into a lot of debate about Iran and American foreign policy toward Iran -- and this is good -- it was a zoo here today but in a good way. People exercised their rights to protest and did so peacefully but forcefully.

    I would urge everyone to read the work of Scott Ritter. It will really open your eyes to the difference between the rhetoric and the reality. There is a real opportunity to improve relations with Iran and find common ground if the U. S. had a thoughtful foreign policy.

    Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 24, 2007 4:12:03 PM


  22. He's right. There are no gay people in Iran. They are killed when they are discovered to be gay.

    It's great that he was booed. But how much better would it have been if everyone had simply gotten up and left the auditorium?

    Posted by: peterparker | Sep 24, 2007 4:15:05 PM


  23. I guess he missed the great documentary the CBC did called " Out of Iran", about gays there. Was fascinating, and of course, sad.

    Posted by: secretagentman | Sep 24, 2007 4:17:01 PM


  24. Great Post ... the most telling moment of madness - somewhat unquestioned so far this afternoon in the mainstream press.

    The far right can not understand there are many left of center liberals who find that the applause for this person, in this situation, was to me treason to our country and a gay bashing of the hightest order.

    Not those are some folks I want the government to put under observation after this event. Stupid or dangerous.

    Posted by: RJP3 | Sep 24, 2007 4:20:15 PM


  25. DAVID ASKED: We all know he's horrible. Did we really need further confirmation?

    David I think the best thing wise people who saw no need for this event, is for them to read and study the text of what he said.

    If you listen to the many old testament readings, and an almost equal use of the jesus and mohammed ... and God instead of Allah used in the english interp ... well
    take this text as weopon to show America that this is the exact same lanquage of the Creationist Christianist Movement.

    The CREATIONISTS in the USA are not FUNDING anti-evolution STUDIES in IRAN and IRAQ.

    US Citizens are funding law challenges to denounce evolution.

    FOR REAL.
    Creationists Fundamentalism and Islamic Fundamentalism are joining forces as we speak. Read the text ... he was speaking to them as well.

    Posted by: RJP3 | Sep 24, 2007 4:26:33 PM


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