Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Iranian President Mocks Reason at Columbia

Provocative, rambling and even stupid are three of the many adjectives pundits and observers used to categorize Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's long-anticipated speech at Columbia University in New York yesterday. He implored the need for more research with regards to the Holocaust while he denied his country's alleged development of nuclear weapons. But Ahmadinejad truly mocked reason with his denial of homosexuality.

"In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country," he said through a translator. "In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon; I don't know who's told you we have this."

Really Ahmadinejad? The 'petty and cruel dictator' lost any shred of potential credibility as evidenced by the immediate laughter and jeers which broke out among the audience. The International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Campaign immediately weighed in to condemn the Iranian President's comments while newspapers, radio, television and even blogs carried the sound bite around the world. The question remains, however, as to whether anybody remains surprised that Ahmadinejad would make such a preposterous claim. Probably not. He has repeatedly denied the Holocaust, he advocates for the destruction of Israel and even yesterday he maintained women enjoy unparalleled freedom inside his country. Ahmadinejad's denial of homosexuality is an abomination to many within the movement for LGBT rights and within human rights circles -- and should be labeled as such. His categorization arguably remains nothing more than the latest of a series of statements which do little more than mock reason and intelligent thought.

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