NYT coverage of the Iranian president’s visit to Columbia University. Avoid annoying NYT required login by clicking here for a temporary password:
He said that there were no homosexuals in Iran — not one — and that the Nazi slaughter of six million Jews should not be treated as fact, but theory, and therefore open to debate and more research.
There are many reasons we find Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s policies and pronouncements loathsome. High on that list are his denial of the Holocaust, his call to wipe Israel off the map and his country’s sponsorship of terrorism. Equally loathsome is Iran’s denial of basic civil rights to its citizens, including the right of free speech.
So we are dismayed by the behavior of some of New York’s democratically elected representatives who denounced and threatened Columbia University for inviting the Iranian leader to speak there yesterday. We can imagine no better way to give hope to opponents of Iran’s repressive state than by showcasing America’s democracy and commitment to free speech. And we can imagine no better way to lay bare the bankruptcy of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s views than to have him speak, and be questioned, at a university forum.
Here’s a Dec. 2006 Time magazine interview with him.