Monday, September 24, 2007

There are no homosexuals in Iran.

Just in case you hadn't heard.

President Ahmadinejad speaks at Columbia


I love that PrezBo told him "You exhibit all signs of a petty and cruel dictator." Awesome.

6 comments:

angelle said...

I have been laughing at this spectacle ALL DAY LONG. I have some strong opinions on the fact that I think it's kind of weird for Prezbo to be attacking a guest (even if rightfully so), but I feel like he might have gotten lynched if he didn't do something. But come on, you went as far as to extend your campus to him. I think you could have been a little bit more diplomatic than that....

I do believe everyone has the right to freedom of speech, even a figurehead/dictator. So good for Columbia for letting him in. I really do believe that, actually. Even if we totally don't agree with what he has to say, everyone should be allowed their moment to defend themselves, so at least the world can make some decisions of their own based on the weight of his words.

Anonymous said...

We'd do better to make decisions of our own based on his actions.

Patti said...

here from lisa...i have been laughing at BOTH of those quotes all day. good times....

Patti said...

um, and i forgot to add that i think that prezbo has ulterior motives in his comment. he heard that the government might cut off his public funds for hosting his guest, which in turn came out as "we hate you and you stink" (i am sooo paraphrasing here) into...

writtenwyrdd said...

The whole thing is incomprehensible to me. Why ask and why come? Surely neither thought there would be an outcome that would really be beneficial?

Curtastrophe said...

Sure, everyone can agree that freedom of speech is a good thing. It's great! But when people think that they're being forced to extend this right to dictators with well documented pasts of committing crimes against humanity, their feelings can quickly change.

The college president, Lee Bollinger prefaced Ahmadinejad by saying, "It should never be thought that merely to listen to ideas we deplore in any way implies our endorsement of those ideas, or the weakness of our resolve to resist those ideas or our naiveté about the very real dangers inherent in such ideas. It is a critical premise of freedom of speech that we do not honor the dishonorable when we open the public forum to their voices." He also cited the quotable expression about how free speech is "an experiment, as all life is an experiment." and apologized in advance for any suffering that giving this speaker a public forum would cause.

Before turning to Ahmadinejad he finished on the subject, "In the moment, the arguments for free speech will never seem to match the power of the arguments against, but what we must remember is that this is precisely because free speech asks us to exercise extraordinary self-restraint against the very natural but often counterproductive impulses that lead us to retreat from engagement with ideas we dislike and fear. In this lies the genius of the American idea of free speech." Bollinger furthered the introduction by condemning the government of Iran for unjust imprisonment, public executions, and other violations of human rights.

I think that the subject of free speech can transcend politics. I think that debate in all forms is usually a good thing and I really think that Columbia's prez eloquently expressed this--His thoughts on freedom of speech were the best I've ever heard in my life.
The Bliggity No Diggity Blog-a-Log