Columbia University President Lee Bollinger excoriated Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday, going through a long list of documented actions and remarks by the firebrand Iranian leader and his government.
"Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator," Bollinger said to applause from many of the 600 people in the room for a speech from the Iranian leader. ...
Asked about widely documented government abuse of women and homosexuals in his country, Ahmadinejad said, "We don't have homosexuals" in Iran. "I don't know who told you we had it," he said.
Ahmadinejad can't admit the obvious, that Iran has homosexuals, because that would be admitting a failure of the regime to enforce Islamic law. He outed himself ... as an Islamic totalitarian. Not that we didn't know that already, but it's something he typically tries to hide.
Hot Air has the video.
From Gay Republic News: Interview with Iranian Gay Couple.
Q: What is the problem of an Iranian homosexual?
Kaveh: The first is that we cannot discuss any of our problems. We have a problem with the government due to our sexual orientation; the Islamic government does not accept us and we are condemned to hanging and stoning. In comparison the rest of the problems are minor.
From Wikinews: Execution of two gay teens in Iran spurs controversy.
Also, Bollinger's opening criticisms of Ahmadinejad were welcome but should leave us wondering why the university would invite a "petty, cruel dictator" in the first place.
UPDATE I: Mere Rhetoric has graphic photos of how the Islamic regime treats homosexuals.
UPDATE II: Little Green Footballs has posted a Canadian documentary about homosexuals in Iran: Out in Iran.
UPDATE III -- Sept. 25: From FOX News: Iran Does Far Worse Than Ignore Gays, Critics Say.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadís seemingly ridiculous claim that "we donít have homosexuals, like in your country" masks the cruel reality that his government does far worse than ignore gays, human rights groups charge.
"There are criminal laws on the books in Iran that allows for people to be killed for being homosexual," said Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
Just how many gays may have been killed ó some say the figure is more than 400 ó is impossible to determine. But Ahmadinejadís flip follow-up answer to the question posed to him Monday at Columbia University ó "We do not have this phenomenon. I donít know who has told you that we have" ó suggests he wonít take the issue seriously.
Human rights groups have long railed against the Iranian governmentís persecution of gays, which Ettelbrick calls "a campaign by the government to draw attention to the risks of people expressing their sexuality." Some believe that repression has only worsened since Ahmadinejad became president.
"When I first heard his comments yesterday, I laughed," said Arsham Parsi, founder of the Toronto-based Iranian Queer Organization.
"But after I thought about it, I realized this is really a very strong statement. By denying we exist, he does not even acknowledge that we have human rights."
UPDATE IV: Our friend and Iranian activist Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi was featured on Glenn Beck to discuss women's rights and homosexuality in Iran. Gateway Pundit has the video.
You can also see video of her interview with Michelle Malkin at the Columbia protests.
Posted by Forkum at September 24, 2007 04:06 PM