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Speech Achmadinejad op Amerikaanse universiteit

IMO Blog, 2007

(Van Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog)

Hoever gaat de vrijheid van meningsuiting, en wil vrijheid van meningsuiting zeggen dat je mensen met verderfelijke ideeŽn ook een podium moet geven zodat zij beter gehoord worden en mensen aan hun kant kunnen krijgen? Het 'free speech' argument van de Universiteit van Columbia klinkt mooi en de speech van Achmadinejad aldaar heeft de universiteit meer publiciteit opgeleverd dan welke andere campagne dan ook. Maar moet je je vijanden deze ruimte bieden? "Know thine enemies" zei de voorzitter van de universiteit, maar dat kan toch ook zonder zo iemand in je eigen universiteitsgebouw zijn propaganda te laten verkondigen? De vrijheid van meningsuiting zou pas in gevaar komen wanneer een particuliere organisatie Achmadinejad had uitgenodigd, en de overheid dit vervolgens zou verbieden, niet wanneer een universiteit besluit een controversiele figuur niet te laten spreken. Het is me sowieso een raadsel wat de beste man met wetenschap te maken heeft, of het moet de retorica zijn.


Maar er is nog een argument: wat Achmadinejad zegt is kwetsend voor grote groepen mensen. Niet alleen Joden, maar ook homosexuelen en Iraanse dissidenten. Voor hen komt de man die de vernietiging van een groot deel van hun familie ontkent, c.q. hun groep op dit moment in Iran actief vervolgt en onderdrukt, wel akelig dichtbij.

Achmadinejad is niet dom. Vakkundig omzeilde hij vervelende vragen en stak zijn propagandaverhaal af. Ongetwijfeld zal een deel van het publiek oordelen dat hij zo slecht nog niet is, of zijn idee serieus nemen om de inwoners van IsraŽl en de bezette gebieden in een referendum over hun toekomst te laten beslissen. Er zijn verbluffend veel mensen die menen dat hij eigenlijk niet op vernietiging van IsraŽl uit is (alleen op 'regime change'), dat Iran inderdaad alleen een kernprogramma voor vreedzame doelen ontwikkelt, en dat minderheden er worden gerespecteerd. Maar hij is niet alleen voor een 'world without Zionism' maar ook voor een 'world without America'. Dat heeft hij gisteren uiteraard niet erbij verteld.

Hieronder een voorbeeld van de respectvolle behandeling van homosexuelen in Iran.

De teksten van de bijeenkomsten op de universiteit en met een persclub zijn hier te lezen:
Transcript of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Appearance at Columbia University
Transcript of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad National Press Club Appearance


Ratna Pelle

Iran_gay (10k image)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Ahmadinejad speaks at Columbia amid derision
By Jamshid Mousavinezhad, amNY.com
David Freedlander, amNewYork Staff Writer
John Valenti, Newsday Staff Writer
and The Associated Press
4:26 PM EDT, September 24, 2007
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/am-iran0925,0,1085708,full.story?coll=ny_sports_highschool_tennis_util

Despite being introduced as a "petty and cruel dictator" Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to a packed audience of students and academics in an extraordinary event at Columbia University Monday afternoon.

In remarks that veered between sermon and stump speech Ahmadinejad quoted freely from the Quran, warning of the corrupting influence of the material world and sidestepping questions on his call for the destruction of Israel and his denial of the Holocaust.

Columbia University president Lee Bollinger opened the World Leaders forum by saying Ahmadinejad "exhibited all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator".

"We do not honor the dishonorable when we open our public forum to their voices," Bollinger said.

Ahmadinejad called Bollinger's remarks "an insult to information and the knowledge of the audience here."

The Iranian president also inveighed against governments that "tap telephones" and decried "their onslaught on the domestic cultures of nations". In response to a question about terrorism, he claimed Iran was itself "a victim of terrorism", saying members of its government were and had been killed by terrorist groups that he said were supported by the U.S.

Ahmadinejad briefly addressed two of his claims that had aroused the most controversy. He said academics in Europe had been imprisoned for "approaching the Holocaust from a different perspective", and that as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency Iran had the right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology.

Speaking in Farsi with a simultaneous translator Ahmadinejad several times addressed the audience as "my dear friends." Ahmadinejad characterized himself as a fellow academic, and said even as president he continues teaching courses on a weekly basis.

There were no disruptions as the audience sat in silence through most of the speech. There was derisive laughter when Ahmadinejad claimed "in Iran, we do not have homosexuals" in response to a question. The end of the speech was greeted with applause.

President Bush said Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia "speaks volumes about really the greatness of America."

He told Fox News Channel that if Bollinger considers Ahmadinejad's visit an educational experience for Columbia students, "I guess it's OK with me."

Bollinger opened the forum with unsparing remarks that were frequently interrupted by applause; he called the event consistent with the idea that "one should know thine enemies," and apologized to those who suffered hurt and pain as a result of the speech.

But he emphasized the university's role as encouraging free debate and the exchange of views.

Bollinger lambasted Ahmadinejad for his denial of the Holocaust, hatred of Israel and sponsorship of terrorism. He also denounced the recent arrest and imprisonment of several Iranian Americans by Iran's government.

As the events at Columbia unfolded, thousands of people jammed two blocks of 47th Street across from the United Nations to protest Ahmadinejad's visit to New York.

Organizers claimed a turnout of tens of thousands. Police did not immediately have a crowd estimate.

The speakers, most of them politicians and officials from Jewish organizations, proclaimed their support for Israel and criticized the Iranian leader for his remarks questioning the Holocaust.

"We're here today to send a message that there is never a reason to give a hatemonger an open stage," New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

Earlier, Columbia was a tale of two rallies as protesters and students had their say ahead of the speech by Ahmadinejad.

About two hundred vocal anti-Ahmadinejad protesters swarmed the sidewalks outside the university's main gates on 116th Street and Broadway, holding "Never Again" signs and Israeli and American flags. The crowd was swelled by a swarm of media outlets.

Some argued that the Iranian president, who has denied the existence of the Holocaust and said Israel should be destroyed, is not the voice of the Iranian people. Others said they were ashamed that Columbia president Lee Bollinger would allow Ahmadinejad to speak Monday afternoon at Lerner Hall.

University security guards were checking anyone who approached the
gates, and only allowing those with Columbia IDs to enter the campus.

Inside Columbia, a significantly larger and calmer crowd of about five hundred held a free speech rally near the steps of Low Library, with an open microphone. Speakers, mostly students, took turns denouncing Ahmadinejad, while supporting his right to speak.

"There truly is no danger in talking," said Josh Lipsky, 21, a senior political science student who said he is president of the Columbia University College Democrats.

Phyllis Berman, who was holding a sign that read "2/3rds of my family were killed in the Holocaust, said "I think it's important people stop shouting and start listening to each other."

Berman said she abhorred Ahmadinejad's views, but generally supported free speech.

Gesturing at the contrasting groups, she added, "I don't know which side I'm on."

Outside the gates, a man who said he was a Columbia alum and a retired school teacher held aloft his diploma -- offering it for sale for 50 cents.

"It shames me as a graduate of this school," Steven Michael Gruber, 51, who received his master's degree in International Affairs in 1982, said of the invitation to Ahmadinejad.

"It shames the university . . . Ahmadinejad is a sworn enemy of the United States. American soldiers are being killed because of this man."

The principal and founder of the Iranian Community School in Vienna, Va., said people should not listen to the Iranian president.

"Ahmadinejad is not representative of the Iranian people," Shantadj Deyhimi, 81, said. "There are no human rights in Iran . . . He's a terrorist and he is not an educated person. He's nothing. The University belongs to educated people. He doesn't have anything to teach people."

Deyhimi was among a group of about 20 protesters who said they were from a Washington, D.C., based human rights group called "The Constitution of Iran." The group chartered a bus to protest the appearance by Ahmadinejad.

Amnon Rubenstein, who said he was a visiting professor at Columbia in both the Law School and Columbia College, said inviting Ahmadinejad to speak at the university "flies in the face of reason.

"Free speech allows villains and murderers to have their say," he said, "but that doesn't mean they need to be invited to a university like Columbia."

Ahmadinejad, who is in New York City to attend the United Nations General Assembly session this week, sparked controversy before he even left Iran, asking for permission to lay a wreath at Ground Zero.

The New York City Police Department denied that request, citing security concerns. But some critics claimed Ahmadinejad merely wanted to use the opportunity to visit the 9/11 site as a "photo op."

***
Ahmadinejad: No Gay People in Iran
Says Country Doesn't Have Such a 'Phenomenon'

Last Edited: Monday, 24 Sep 2007, 3:22 PM EDT
Created: Monday, 24 Sep 2007, 3:01 PM EDT
http://www.myfoxny.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=4445787&version=6&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1

When pressed about the treatment of homosexuals in his country, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was translated as saying his country did not have homosexuals and questioned where anyone had heard there were gays in Iran.

"In Iran, we don't have this phenomenon," he said through an interpreter, "I don't know who's told you that we have it."

This drew laughs and boos from the audience at Columbia University, where he was speaking Monday afternoon in a controversial question-and-answer session.

Ahmadinejad gave a short address and then answered questions for about an hour. He spoke after sitting through a verbal attack from Columbia President Lee Bollinger.

Bollinger attacked his record on human rights and statements questioning the Holocaust.

--MyFoxNY.com


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Reacties: 1 Opmerking

op Saturday, 29 September 07, schreef ben van rooij

Ben je bang voor het woord?
Kan het woord je kwetsen?
Is het woord dodelijk?
Ben je bang?

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IMO Blog (IsraŽl & Midden-Oosten) bevat mijn opinies over het IsraŽlisch-Palestijnse conflict, het Joodse recht op zelfbeschikking (ook bekend als Zionisme) en het Palestijnse recht op zelfbeschikking. Ik ben een academica uit Nederland. Ik ben actief geweest in diverse linkse bewegingen voor vrede, milieu en derde wereld. Ik ben noch Joods noch Palestijns noch IsraŽlisch noch Arabisch.

© Alle teksten op deze blogs zijn eigendom van de schrijver, en dienen niet zonder toestemming gekopieerd te worden naar andere websites.



IMO Blog contains my thoughts on the Israel - Palestine conflict, the Jewish right to self determination (aka Zionism) and the Palestinian right to self determination, and especially the involvement of Europe with the conflict in the light of it's own history. I am an academic from the Netherlands who has been active in several leftist movements for peace, environment and third world. I am neither Jewish nor Palestinian nor Israeli nor Arab.

© All blogs posted here are copyright by the author, and should not be copied without permission.


BLOGS NL-ISRAEL:
* Ratna.NL - Over IsraŽl en de Palestijnen 2005-2006
* Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog
* Laatste nieuws uit Israel
* Dutchblog Israel (NL/EN)
* Simon Soesan (tot 2013)
* The Crethi and the Plethi (NL/EN)
* Loor Schreef
* Israel in de Media
* Trouw Israel Monitor

AMI ISSEROFF & CO:
* MidEastWeb Log on Middle East peace (2002-2011)
* ZioNation - Progressive Zionism & Israel Web Log (2006-2010)
* Israel: Like this, as if (2007-2009)
* Middle East Analysis (2007-2011)

OTHER BLOGS ISRAEL:
* AP Israel Watch (2010)
* Blue Truth (2007-2015)
* UK Media Watch/
* Daled Amos
* Dry Bones cartoons
* Dvar Dea from Israel
* Elder of Ziyon
* FresnoZionism (2006-2014), now Abu Yehuda
* Haifa Diary
* Israel Proud (2009-2012)
* A Liberal Defence of Israel (2006-2015)
* Neville Teller's A Mid-East Journal
* Normblog (2013)
* Philosemitism (2007-2013)
* Point of no return (Middle East's forgotten Jewish refugees)
* Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
* Ray Cook (Israel, Zionism and the Media)
* Simply Jews
* Unplugged Mike (2003-2011)
* Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

WEBSITES ISRAEL:
* CIDI
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* Christenen voor Israel
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* VECIP - Vrije Encyclopedie Conflict IsraŽl-Palestina
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DIVERSE ONDERWERPEN:
* Brassť Sittard - Van linkse politiek tot Joodse genealogie
* Sittard Web Log - "politieke, sociale en groene berichten"
* At the back of the hill
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NIET MEER GEUPDATE:
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* IreneLancaster's Diary (on Aliyah, Judaism, Zionism and Politics)
* Jewish State
* Octogenarian
* Ratna's Review on Israel, Zionism and Peace (2005-2006)
* Sanda & Israel
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