Monday, September 24, 2007

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Appears on a Global Stage

New York City remains abuzz today with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia University. A vocal faction of New Yorkers -- and commentators across the country -- have expressed disgust at the notion that a so-called sponsor of state terrorism would have an opportunity to appear, let alone speak, on American soil. Others welcome Ahmadinejad's appearance as a rare opportunity to directly hold him accountable for his regime's many human rights abuses.

Tehran continues to persecute LGBT Iranians at an alarming rate the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and other media outlets have documented over the last several months. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly sparked outrage over his Holocaust denials, his country's nuclear ambitions and his regime's alleged support of Iraqi insurgents. American anti-Islam sentiment and the legacy of the Iranian hostage crisis, among other things, continue to provide obvious folder to vilify Ahmadinejad's government. The Iranian president remains a pariah on the broader global geo-political scene. His visit to New York, however, provides the world (an Iranians themselves by virtue of association) an opportunity to hold him accountable for his human rights abuses on a worldwide stage.

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