Thursday, September 21, 2006

Columbia and Ahmadinejad: One wonders

Columbia University officials have invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia this Friday, according to the Columbia Spectator and The New York Sun.

Let's review some of Ahmadinejad's high-profile public statements, shall we?
  • "Death to Israel." Israel "must be wiped out of the map of the world."
  • "And God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States...."
  • The Holocaust is a myth: "They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred.... The West has given more significance to the myth of the genocide of the Jews...."
Now, by way of background, let's review Columbia's discrimination policy: The University
is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from discrimination... and to fostering a nurturing and vibrant community founded upon the fundamental dignity and worth of all of its members. ...[I]t is the policy of the University not to tolerate discrimination ... in any form....
The policy further states that discrimination may occur by
treating members of a protected class less favorably because of their membership in that class. The protected groups are based upon race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, ....
One wonders if Columbia deems inviting to campus a political leader who calls for the annihilation of Israel to be part of fostering a nurturing environment towards people of Israeli origin.

One wonders if Columbia deems inviting to campus a man who publicly appeals to God for a world without the United States to be part of creating a vibrant community for those of American origin.

One wonders if Columbia deems inviting to campus a high-profile Holocaust denyer to be reinforcing of the fundamental dignity of those of Jewish religion.

One wonders.

Update: Ahmadinejad accepted the invitation, but then Columbia rescinded it because of security and logistical issues, university officials told the Columbia Spectator. Would've been nice if they'd rescinded the invitation on principle, because the guy is a thug. But I guess some folks seem to like him, seem to think President Bush could learn a thing or two from him.

Further update: The New York Sun is reporting that Columbia's president announced that he did rescind the invitation on principle.

(Hat tips: K. J. Lopez and G. H. Reynolds.)