Ahmadinejad: “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals”


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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  1. David says

    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?

  2. rdiazsi says

    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.

  3. says

    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.

  4. says

    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.

  5. JR says

    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.

  6. Bill Perdue says

    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.

  7. Alan says

    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.

  8. David says

    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…

  9. says

    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.

  10. Gary says

    “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…

  11. says

    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.

  12. Rad says

    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.

  13. John says

    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.

  14. anon (gmail.com) says

    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.

  15. Anonymous says

    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.

  16. peterparker says

    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?

  17. RJP3 says

    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.

  18. RJP3 says

    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.

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

  19. Derrick from Philly says

    “…homosexuals like you have in your country.”

    That may be the important part of what as a whole was an idiotic statement. I was reading about homosexuality in Turkey, and how Western style “gay” is being accepted by more Turkish homosexuals. They had their on traditions of same sex sex/love. Maybe Iran was the same, and the rise of a “gay consciousness” is being meant with brutal and barbaric penalities.

  20. rjp3 says

    The CREATIONISTS in the USA are *NOW* FUNDING anti-evolution STUDIES in IRAN and IRAQ.

    US Citizens are funding law challenges to denounce evolution.

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

    From the 1st days after 9/11 my clearest thought was to worry about the facisct religious elements in our country (breath deep … there are millions of them. Millions. That is reality.

    If they started joining in with the enemy of our nation … are they then the enemy ?

  21. Jrez says

    And let’s not forget all of his fun “Holocaust? WHAT holocaust?” blathering.

    The only reason this man was invited is that he hates Bush and the university expected him to spend his entire time bashing him.


    Christianity has gone though both a new testament and a reformation. Islam has not. Get with the 21st century, primate.

  22. says

    Ahmadinejad probably thinks that homosexuality is a disease which only exists in decadent societies like the US.

    It’s true that we all have free speech in the US to say whatever we want (thanks to the founding fathers), but shame on Columbia for giving this hatemonger a pulpit in the US and for publicizing his message.

    I think the anonymous poster above may be right when he said that the organizers invited him to speak because they expected him to speak out against Bush and the Iraqi War — but this is more proof that the enemy of our enemy is not necessarily our friend. Someone should have told Sean Penn that as well before he went to Venezuela to praise Hugo Chavez

  23. says

    The mad midget didn’t just get booed there was a good amount of applause going on. These people make me laugh, sometimes giggle, that if even if he’s a murdering terrorist loving nut as long as he bashes the US or Bush we have to love him. Ah the quislings!

  24. taz389 says

    I just watched “the guy” on TV. It was amazing the audience first laughed …He was completely lost , you should see his eyes …He reminded me of Bush at some point!!

    “the guy ” is scary, no doubt about that ….

  25. rjp3 says

    Christianity has gone though both a new testament and a reformation. Islam has not. Get with the 21st century, primate.

    My problem is with CREATIONIST CHRISTIANS… if you are NOT a creationist fundamentalist christian … you should not take offense and be equally appauled by both Christian Fundamentalism and Islamic Fundamentalism. If you do not see that … it is that needs to wake up to the fact that RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM – both Christian, Judeo, and Islamic (and any other form not yet created) is the ENEMY.

  26. Joshua says

    For once(and probably the only time ever) I agree with Bill Perdue’s post.

    David….there is no snow ball effect…this man is killing American troops in Irag. He is paying for weapons to be used to kill Israelie women and children, he sponsers terror groups that maim and kill non-Muslims in the UK and other places. These are not accusations….they are facts.

    Gary…in the last Iranian election this man came in third, behind the 2 moderates, then in the run-off he suddenly won an overwhelming vote….sound familier?….but in this guys case it really was a stolen election…preordained by the Supreme Leader of Iran.

    Anon….but Chomsky isn’t in a position of power and actually killing gays and Arabs(non-persians)and Sunni’s, this man is.

    Anonymous….sorry…But your President didn’t go far enough. This isn’t just the leader of a country we disagree with, this is a man who says there was no holocoust, that is sending Iranian men and arms into Iraq to kill American soldiers, that makes him an enemy combatant, with no right to speak anywhere in this country. I suppose you would have felt the same if Hitler or PolPot were invited to speak at Columbia? People above were right on the mark…..Columbia thought he would speak against Bush and the war thus fulfilling their favorite mastabatory fantasy…..ooops….they goofed. If your University was truely, as you say interested in free speech, then tell me why ROTC is not allowed to be on campus(where there are many students who wish to participte in it) and can’t even come for job fairs, tell me why the leader of the Minutemen group was told he wasn’t wanted to speak at a forumn at Columbia?????? But you Liberal hypocrite’s can invite and then defend your choice, the President of Iran, a killer with gay and American blood on his hands to come and show how you value **free speech***……please, you make me gag.

    RJP3….your problem is your a racist/bigot, who has no clue as to what century your spouting your crap in. The religious fundies in this country are basically asswipes…..but they aren’t hanging gays or killing people who don’t believe the way they do.

  27. says

    As the U.S. hurls itself and the rest of the world closer to war with Iran it was pertinent that “the enemy” speak to (and answer to) an intelligent American audience. However, the president of Columbia University should have introduced him without editorial, behaving as a host respectful to an invited guest, and then let the moronic worm dig himself deep into his own shithole. He can totally humiliate himself without additional assistance from his host. Somehow the public bashing of Ahmadinejad is not going to lead to anything good, he’s humiliated and will seek revenge. He has proved himself an idiot and evil enough to be a powerful and absolute danger.
    Now I’m truly scared.

  28. Vi Agara says

    Columbia U. is a traitorous institution imo. There is no excuse to host this low life scum, who wants us all dead, both gay and straight Americans. Disgraceful.

  29. rjp3 says

    RJP3….”our problem is your a racist/bigot, who has no clue as to what century your spouting your crap in. The religious fundies in this country are basically asswipes…..but they aren’t hanging gays or killing people who don’t believe the way they do.”

    Racist ?
    Bigot ?

    Honestly my comments may beliefs stated in that post may make me something … but it is not or or the other of those. The reasons the anti-homosexual rhetoric is winning Repugs elections is that MANY CHRISTIANS are upset that laws that existed 50 years ago that prevented all of the above have been dropped or changed.

    Have no doubt the Christian Fundamentalists would like all those laws back in place … and will work to strip away freedoms for sexually differnt members of society if they are allowed to. That is a fact.

    So they Christian Fundamentalist while not killing (except for THE KLAN now and then)work to harm others through legal and medical means.

    FUNDAMENTALISM is dangerous.
    Understanding FUNDAMENTALISM is key to winning the war against it.

    Saying Christian Fundamentalism is not as dangerous as the murderous ways of Islamic Fundamentalism is just WRONG as a FACT.

    Christian Fundamentalism has produced at least TWO VERY famous dangerous Home Grown Christian Fundamentalists

    … one was a TERRORIST … you may remember he bomb the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (as well as blew a gay bar and an abortion clinic).

    Eric Robert Rudolph (born September 19, 1966), also known as the Olympic Park Bomber, is an American domestic terrorist,[2][3] who committed a series of bombings across the southern United States, which killed three people and injured at least 150 others. He declared that his bombings were part of a guerrilla campaign against abortion and what he describes as “the homosexual agenda.”

    He spent years as the FBI’s most wanted criminal fugitive, but was eventually caught. In 2005 Rudolph pleaded guilty to numerous federal and state homicide charges and accepted five consecutive life sentences in exchange for avoiding a trial and the death penalty. Rudolph was connected with the Christian Identity movement.

    Christian Identity is a label applied to a wide variety of loosely-affiliated churches with a racialized theology. Most of them promote a Eurocentric version of Christianity.

    Christian Identity’s key commonality is British Israelism theology, which teaches that white Europeans are the literal descendants of the Israelites through the ten tribes that were taken away into captivity by the armies of Assyria.

    Furthermore, the teaching holds that these (White European) Israelites are still God’s Chosen People, that Jesus was an Israelite of the tribe of Judah, and that modern Jews are not at all Israelites nor Hebrews but are instead descended from Turco-Mongolian blood, or Khazars and are descendants of the Biblical Esau-Edom who traded his birthrights for a bowl of soup.

    The Christian Identity movement first broke into the mainstream media in 1984, when the white nationalist organization The Order embarked on a murderous crime spree before being taken down by the FBI. It came to public attention again in 1992 and 1993, after the deadly Ruby Ridge confrontation, when it was discovered that Randy Weaver had at least a loose association with Christian Identity.


  30. Sam says

    I dont’t like gays or lesbians. Just like any country it has ups and downs. But, if your a Jew, Christian or Muslim. It is not ok be be Homosexual. Source, look up the story of Prophet Lut or Lut and his people.
    God warned them and they still did not obey and what happened to them excatly. Go read you holy texts and books, before you say and support one thing before you do the opposites.

  31. Steven says

    It is too easy to get furious by this man’s ignorant comments about “having no homosexuals.” It is too easy to jump on the undercurrent in this nation to make Iran the new Soviet Union, the new Iraq, the new enemy. And his points about Iran and our own country’s capital punishment is key: Why do they feel the need to exterminate homosexuality and why does our own country have a similar battle going on? Or better yet, why do see the solution with Iran is to go to war with them too? What the hell happened to diplomacy in this country? Learning to talk about differences and similarities and hopefully changing ideas, opinions and learning to grow! I applaud Columbia for starting this public discussion. Haven’t we already learned our lesson from attempting to rid the world of evil with our own brand of terror? Being Aggro-American World Peace Keeper is so last year.

  32. Jay says

    First off he said, through a translator, that Iran did not have gays in the same mannner as America does. To deny this is idiocy. To claim he is denying gays exist just shows what liars and false victims you people are.

    The inferior American gene pool has little more to offer and so homosexuality is natural population control in America and naturally plays a more central role in this culture. The real reason the global elites want more tolerance for homosexuality in Iran is because ultimately you are afraid of brown people having a population boom. Fuck you weaklings.

    Of course some idiot here will probably call me a supremicist for stating the obvious – even though I have called the American race inferior- think about it for a moment and you know deep down supremacists and bigots aren’t even open to that idea. You are enslaved by your own thoughts. Grow up.

  33. says

    Although he should not have been invited to speak he was. Cleary he was afforded the opportunity because this is a democracy unlike Iran. Ahmadinejad’s speech showed the world once again how out of touch with reality he is with the modern world.

    Corey Cotta, Author of All of Yesterdays Tomorrows.

  34. says

    I’m not defending anything that he said, but I do think that when he said that they don’t have homosexuals in Iran, I think he meant that there isn’t a visible homosexual subculture. He called it a “phenomonon”, and I think that he was referring to homosexuals as a visible minority and recognized category or society. Remember, the blanket notion of “homosexuality” is a relatively new, Western notion. More traditional cultures don’t have Western conceptions of homosexuality (they tend to operate with less general categories, such as pederast, boy prostitute, sodomist, etc) and don’t see the parallels between western gays and the traditional behavioral categories their culture employs. Without recognizing an appropriate parallel, he’s really not conceptually equipped to discuss the issue.

  35. Tytus says

    To all those who don’t think he should have been allowed to speak: You’re mistaken and heres why:
    If you prevent him from talking, it gives him credibility because you make it seem like he’s got some truth which you’re trying to cover up…..
    Imagine if we had let Hitler come over here and talk about how he wanted to exterminate jews, gays, blacks, and slavs… first, he would have been booed an laughed at by the audience, second, the general public would have become aware of him sooner and pressured our government to take him out long before he almost conquered the world….
    Predictably, Ahmadinejad made a complete ass of himself in front of the audience at Columbia University and the world…. I say we let the leaders of every fascist, racist, homophobic, totalitarian country fly over here, go on CNN and say what they want. It will only make us (the American people) appreciate the precious secular, democratic republic we have.

  36. says

    The man is correct – they do not have homosexuals in Iran like we do here. In Iran they are in prison, dead or underground… or in the Government. I dated an Iranian Cabinet member many years ago in Europe. He assured me they all had boys on the side who’s “feet never touched the ground”. Although, I’m sure once they tired of the boys, they were taken out back and shot.

  37. BigTurk says

    You guys should be embarrassed about the opening remarks the Mr. Bollinger made. At least let the guest speak before you flame him trying to look like a hero. He looked like an idiot instead. I don’t agree with all of Iranian guys opinions, but I agree less with those of the American Govt. After reading most of the comments it shows how so many of you are not well informed. Iran sends all their gays to USA. Most of you sound like sheep on a strict diet of Fox and CNN. I can’t seem to recall any crimes against humanity this Iranian guy did….the list for the USA goes on and on and on. That’s right, baaaaaaa. I can’t wait till you ignorant fux try to run north for the border. I’ll be waiting in my igloo to pelt you with snowballs.

  38. danny says


    incompetent translator needs to be FIRED

    as stated by a commenter in digg
    “Wasn’t translated right. “We don’t have homosexuals in Iran the way you have them in the U.S.”
    meaning they dont have parades and such, mainly, because they can’t be as open. He might also mean because of the culture…who knows.

    My dad speaks Farsi so that’s how I know. The translator had to keep up with him and missed a vital word combination in the middle of that thought.”

    all this misguided hatred has got to STOP

  39. stef says

    So in an attempt to create some dialogue in this fucked up world of war, terrorism and growing tensions between east and west, all cause the US wants world dominance, you guys can think of nothing to do but cry about the lack of rights to anal sex in some godforsaken country on the other side of the world?

    You guys must be some bored homo’s!

  40. Brian says

    This is really sad. Is no one taking a broad view of this issue? The pictures of the boys who were hung in Iran were horrifying, and Ahmadinejad is clearly reprehensible on a number of levels. But the fact remains that he is the president of a country with whom the US has one of the most important and most tenuous relationships from an international stability standpoint. The last thing we need in the middle east is to go out of our way to inflame anti-American sentiment any further. Iran, until very recently, was on the path toward modernization… American foreign policy decisions, whether right or wrong, helped to fuel the revival of islamo-fascist politics there, and it’s biting everyone (not just us) in the ass now.

    Ahmadinejad needs no help in looking like an idiot. The opening remarks by the president of Columbia were horrifyingly short-sighted. In the islamic culture, hospitality toward invited guests is an extremely important thing, even if the guest is someone who you find reprehensible. In an effort to get cheap and easy applause, Bollinger the low road and most certainly gave Ahmadinejad enough fuel to fan the flames of anti-American sentiment for the next year or two. Don’t think that that extra hatred won’t result in a few more terrorist recruits, which will translate into suicide attacks on American troops and innocent civilians.

    This entire Columbia debacle was a shocking failure on the part of the State Department. Why weren’t they controlling the situation more effectively, particularly giving the importance and risk inherent in a visit by the admittedly delusional leader of a very important regional power? Just another example of our administration’s inability to manage diplomatic relationships, relying instead on the dubious negotiating power of military attacks.

  41. Brian says

    On second thought, maybe this was the idea the whole time… that the State Department would deliberately drop the ball and allow this visit to turn into a circus of bad behavior on the part of Americans who are already stoked red-hot with fear, anger, and xenophobia. It’s a great way to start the public opinion ball rolling in the direction of a new and ill-advised war with Iran. Wouldn’t it be interesting for America to occupy both countries? Exxon/Mobil stock prices would skyrocket.

  42. justaguynatl says

    In order for an open dialogue to occur, both parties must be wiling to listen and try to understand the others point of view. Our partisan, one dimensional way of thinking causes us to jump to conclusions. I really don’t think he was saying that homosexuality does not exist in Iran; rather, he was saying that the relatively open gay culture that we enjoy in this country does not exist in Iran. Unlike our President, President Ahmadinejad appears to be a very complex intellectual. I sense that many of the thoughts attributed to him by the media may have been taken out of context,mistranslated , or simply misunderstood.

  43. says

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad looks like Judd Apatow, and vice versa. That alone is enough for me to avoid seeing movies like “Knocked Up” and “Superbad” and “The 40 Year Old Virgin”.

    Of course, I hated both of them long before I found out that they looked alike; Mahmoud for being homophobic, ultra-conservative, and war-crazy, and Judd for making sanctimonious, over-moralizing comedies and unleashing Steve Carell onto us.

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