Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Should this "Evil" Man be allowed to speak?


Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University yesterday, and is scheduled to speak at the General Assembly of the U.N this week. Should he be given a public forum for his hate-mongering?

12 comments:

MadMax said...

Columbia University seems to think that it benefits their academic environment by allowing dictators and tyrants to speak there. Yet, while they proclaim themselves as champions of free speech, they so quickly forget how intolerant they were when that speech was Conservative. Remember when the MinuteMan Project was stormed by protestors from Columbia University before they even had a chance to speak. They were even physically threatened and had to leave.

People like Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, and any Member of the Armed Forces, are banned from speaking at many Liberal Universities across the Country. Notably, the military is not allowed on several campuses because of its stance on homosexuality (Don’t ask don’t tell). Maybe someone should tell the brain-dead liberals, however, that Ahmadinejad is a member of a Country that beheads or executes homosexuals, and just stoned a woman to death this week.

Dr. D said...

Me thinks, Madmax, that Columbia University is aware of President Ahmadinejad's politics. You essentially contradicted yourself in your haste to slam academia -- I wouldn't exactly call the Iranian president a liberal!

MadMax said...

Me thinks Dr. D that you have missed the point.

Columbia University said it would welcome any notable figure visiting the United States even Adolf Hitler himself to speak to students and faculty at the Ivy League college, but there are those who question what the college's standards are.

They ask why a school that will not allow an ROTC program to be part of its curriculum would allow Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of America’s avowed enemies, onto its campus. Humm………I wonder why the leader of a nation that exports terrorism is allowed to speak, but the leader of an American organization that seeks to secure U.S. borders was not.

Seems like hypocrisy in academia to me.

KaiserPatrick said...

I agree with what madmax had to say. Columbia University is showing itself to be anti American by allowing a maniac and potential future enemy to America speak on its campus. This is the same Ahmadinejad who denied the holocaust ever happening and clearly expressing his desire to annhilate America's Major Ally, Israel. It is wrong and should never be permitted that a man such as Ahmadinejad be allowed to speak on any Campus in America. Columbia is not making a good name for itself by protesting a group that wants to protect America's borders but now is openly receiving a tyrant who allows women to be stoned to death and the execution of homosexuals.

Dr. D said...

It's all about nuance, Madmax.
Columbia University does allow ROTC recruitment on campus -- it has to because of the Soloman Amendment (which allows for the denial of federal funding to colleges that prohibit or prevent ROTC or military recruitment. Columbia U allows it students to take part in ROTC programs on neighboring college campuses, but their transcripts no longer reflect that participation (as of 1990).
Further, Columbia U did allow the Minutemen to speak @ the University -- they were just booed off the stage.
From the sounds of it, President Ahmadinejad did not receive a warm welcome at Columbia U. Don't get me wrong, the guy is a hate-monger, but what happened to the constitution and freedom of speech -- or are we afraid of what he may say?

MadMax said...

Let’s make this simple. The man is a monster, a terrorist, and a murderer who wishes to do Americans harm. Instead of inviting him to speak at our Ivy League Colleges we should be putting him on trial for human rights violations.

Treating him like just another lecturer on the Ivy League circuit will not mitigate his monstrosity. Some people want so desperately to believe in and act on their sense of moral equivalency they lose their capacity to shudder and use sound judgment.

Dr. D said...

You have a very good point Madmax, but I wasn't trying to give moral equivalency to him...
as one commentator so eloquently put it, without listening to Ahmadinejad how can the world appreciate how truly nutty he is?

pud2you said...

Personally, I agree that he never should have been invited into the States to speak. As one of America’s most hated enemies, his mere welcoming into our country gives him more credit that he is worth. Allowing or not allowing Ahmadinejad to guest lecture in no way questions his freedom of speech. That man is more than welcome to say whatever he wishes wherever he wishes. But to take the steps of intentionally initiating and probing him to discuss his opinions, especially within our very own borders, is one step too far and I find it completely unnecessary and inappropriate. Columbia University sought to have him speak last year and the proposal was denied. In my opinion, the situation would have best been handled by leaving alone then rather than reopening this highly controversial can of worms.

terissa said...

I'm having trouble understanding the entire argument here. Are people upset because the Iranian president came to the United States or that he was asked, and allowed, to speak at an Ivy League university? One of my professors said that he learned more about Islamic fundamentalism - but President Ahmadinejad more specifically - by what the Iranian president DID NOT say than what he actually did. And it wasn't really a lecture - it was a discourse where Ahmadinejad was assaulted with questions (many of which he refused to answer) that exposed how truly horrific his views were. If anything he was requested specifically so that Columbia U students could test out their debate/verbal attack skills on a moving target. I say let the man come - let him tell us, or refuse to tell us, about his convictions so that we can each judge him on our own. And before everyone gets up in arms about how terrific his comments on homosexuality were (I believe it was something like "We don't have a homosexual problem like you have here in the US" or something - as we've touched on, in Iran, homosexuals are executed), let us not forget that the arguments against homosexuality in the United States are based solely in Biblical texts that demand that homosexuals be killed for their immoral actions. Sure, lets point fingers at the big, evil Iranian President - but how many of us are just as guilty of assuming his ideology, even without his practices?

terissa said...

Technology be damned! When I wrote "terrific" I meant "terrible"...

Ennis Fonder said...

While i personally have not heard his speech, there is one thing however that I believe is evident in all people and that is ideas and beliefs can be either good or evil. Whether or not it is good or evil is dictated by the people who decide to act on those beliefs or ideas. Take hitler for example, he is viewed as one of the most heinous war criminals of the 20th century. But the fact that he was so evil does not change the fact that he, through his action, have shown us a side of the human psyche that we never could have fathomed being possible in this day and age. We learned from him that the human mind can be manipulated to do anything especially when it is done in mass numbers.

There is always something we can learn from somebody and the more different they are from you the more you can potentially learn from them about society, different ways to think or at the very least something about yourself. If we just ignored or restrained a person expressing ideas, beliefs and thoughts just because they were viewed as evil at that time then we would have missed out on so many ideas and beliefs that are held as true today. I think a perfect example is the ancient practices of the aztecs, mayans, and the incas, who all, while not as technologically advanced in terms of war, were very advanced in both the medical and astronomical fields and now it is lost because the invading Europeans viewed them as evil. When Nikola Tesla, inventor of AC electricity, was ignored because of all his eccentricities (He suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder along with a few other personality disorders) and the fact that he was a competitor/scientific enemy of Thomas Edison (it opposed his ideas about DC electricity) we lost many of the brilliant ideas and theories in physics and technology that Tesla had and we almost completely lost AC electricity (electrical transformers), the basis of how the entire united states gets power to peoples homes! To summarize, just because a person is evil doesn't mean that everything they say is wrong and not everyone that are good are correct.

Libby said...

I understand the many arguments supporting the fact that having Ahmadinejad speak at Columbia was a learning experience and should have been allowed, but I strongly disagree. Ahmadinejad is quite clearly both an enemy and a tyrant that does not like the US any more than we like him. I cannot understand Columbia's motives in inviting this evil man to speak on their campus. Speaking on a college campus should be a privilege and is one that the Iranian President certainly did not deserve. While some have stated that it should have been allowed because we have learned more about his opinions from hearing him speak, do we not have the technology today to hear him lecture in his own homeland? The fact that Columbia allowed Ahmadinejad on it's campus is particularly inappropriate in this time of war when I believe our country is lacking in patriotism already and should not be supporting enemies abroad. Let him speak in the UN or on neutral ground, don't bring him onto a college campus just because you're an Ivy League and may feel the need to compete with others for the most controversial or well-known speaker out there.