Following the controversial appearance of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University this Monday, questions have been raised about the University’s decision to host such an appearance.

NJ Voices asked several NJ academic instituions about their take on the event. Dr. Susan A. Cole, President at Monclair State University responds:

“The opportunity for students to have direct contact with a sitting head of state, especially under circumstances where the individual can be engaged in discussion, constitutes a powerful educational experiential.
Whether the particular head of state is viewed as a beneficent or a malignant force in the world, he exists, and the more students understand about the people who govern the world’s nations, the better prepared they will be, when their turn comes, to lead constructively and intelligently. In my view, an opportunity to learn should almost always trump most other considerations on a university campus.”

Now, Ahmadinejad has a invited Bush to speak at a university in Tehran. Polite retaliation? What kind of a welcome do you think he’ll get?

22 replies on “Ahmadinejad’s Visit: Tell Us How You Really Feel”

  1. Dr. Cole took the words right out of my mouth.
    I hope W. takes up the opportunity to visit an Iranian college. Let’s just hope his translator has a better command of their language than the president does of ours.

  2. Hmmm…he:
    1) loves all people including Jews but
    2) wants to wipe Israel off the map and,
    3) seeks to simultaneously endorse further Holocaust research, in case all previous research is dubious or tainted.
    OK, I guess that means:
    1) He’ll leave the American branch of my family alone, but
    2) endorse the elimination of the branch that went to Palestine in the 1930’s and still live there to this day as Israelis. And,
    3) I guess, the third branch of my family, the one that stayed in Poland rather than go to either place, never really existed, because, after all, they were all non-existent by 1945.
    …Sure, let him speak, and eventually make a further fool of himself than he already has.

  3. you’re forgetting that out of the millions of people in Iran not one is gay…
    …also women have many rights, he has employed a few (two as politicians and a bunch scientists).
    He failed to mention disturbing his own economy by shutting down establishments too “western” and the beating of woman for wearing garb that is not traditional enough.
    Boy I wished I lived in Iran. I would have already died from attempting to assassinate him.

  4. Ahmadinejad is a distraction. He’s an idiot front man. The real power in Iran is the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
    GR, you are a fantastic idiot. I hope the Secret Service comes knocking on you door for that stupid statement.

  5. i want to know how he got through the airport?
    agreed on the frontman.
    what’s really going on that he is distracting us from?

  6. He is nothing more than a modern day Hitler, dressed for Halloween as a leader of a country. What would I like to see done to him ? Sorry cannot be printed here, and that’s probably a good thing.

  7. okay, so I’ve always kept my secret identity hidden, but I must finally reveal that I’m a grad student at Columbia. One thing that hasn’t been said much is that the School of International and Public Affairs has had an ongoing series of lectures, forums, photo exhibits, etc. on Iran and Iranian policy, and for better or worse, this was a part of that (300 of the 600 tickets went to SIPA students).
    I disagree with the man intensely (Iranian women are the freest in the world when they can’t even smoke outside?), but for all the hoopla and the below the belt intro by Columbia’s president, I think it presented a learning experience for public policy students who want to work in the international realm.

  8. Ahmadinejad is nothing but an ass**** and a moron. He’s not evil, he shouldn’t be particularly controversial, he’s just a big stupid ass**** and a moron. Kinda like Bush!
    There shouldn’t be protests and debates about his presence here. People should just go, “Oh, he’s an ass**** and a moron.”

  9. I agree with the decision to let him speak. After all, universities are supposed to be forums for the exchange of ideas, no matter how reprehensible those ideas are. That is what protests are for. Let him hang himself by his own petard, as the saying goes. I found him very evasive when pressed to answer certain questions but it didn’t surprise me. The only thing that burns me up is that taxpayers have to foot the bill for his visit here, the extra security measures, etc.

  10. Sorry I do not agree.
    Should we also give forums to men that kidnap and rape 7 year old girls, to explain how & why they did it ?
    There comes a point where a person or persons are so discusting, so vile and so ignorant that no forum is needed.
    I would give him no forum in which to spew hate and fear. I’d rather go listen to a seminar on knitting or the correct way to rebuld the fuel tank of a 1960 Pontiac.
    Just the picture of the man instills a desire to vomit in me.
    Where’s Sirhan Sirhan when ya need him, anyway ?

  11. I agree with Dr. Cole’s comments. I also agree that letting him speak allows him to make a fool of himself.
    As far as ‘what’s really going on that he is distracting us from’ – what’s really going on is the right wing is positioning Ahmadinejad as another evil enemy dictator to build a case for war.
    In the recent 60 Minutes interview, Scott Pelley said he asked President Bush what he would say to Ahmadinejad. Pelley said to Ahmadinejad (speaking for President Bush) “You’ve made terrible choices for your people. You’ve isolated your nation. You’ve taken a nation of proud and honorable people and made your country the pariah of the world.” Ahmadinejad’s response should have been an Iranian equivalent of ‘the pot is calling the kettle black.’ “That’s exactly what Bush has done to his own country. He’s accusing me of doing exactly what he has done to distract people from what he is doing to his own country.”

  12. yes lasermike, im an idiot. perhaps you don’t notice that the secret service and our country probably wants us to think that way. why would i not want to get rid of a man who will not shut up until he sees the ultimate destruction of america. hence the constant attacks he is under through our media. but you’re right im the idiot for speaking against a what (don’t know what to call him if im the idiot here).
    sounds to me like you’re the idiot. If the secret service read this (which chances of that are slim to none) I’m sure they are chuckling.

  13. I am an advocate of free speech. Which is why I am glad I am an American. If an Iranian dissident spoke up in Iran, he or she would most likely be arrested and jailed. Columbia University has nothing to be ashamed of by allowing this despot to address an audience. By doing so we are proving the therom that freedom of speech is a fundamental right of anyone on American soil. It is a lesson, hopefully not lost on the Iranian population that this only happens in a country like the US. I despise Nazis but I defended their right to protest in Skokie decades ago. Western European countries now ban such assemblies. That only leads to the crazies to fester. Let this nutcase speak. He does not represent the Iranian people, many of which are friends of mine who want this autorcratic, religion dominated, homophobic, anti-women regime to fall.
    Let’s be honest here…he the little dictator can come to US and spout his hatred and anit-semitism, which then just establishes what a nut he he is. For posters to compare him to our President is revulsive….

  14. Just curious: If so many of the Iranian people are against his regime, how come he was elected by popular vote? This always puzzled me.

  15. Just curious: If so many American people are against the Bush regime, how come he was elected for two terms? This always puzzled me.

  16. Who cares what this motley fool has to say? Ahmadinejad has very little power and less influence inside Iran, and none outside. Iranians are in fact puzzled for all the attention given their “president,” whose office does not mean in Iran’s constitutional system what one would think it means. He is nothing more (or less) than a point man for the ayatollahs.
    And by the way, there are undoubtedly many hundreds of thousands of homosexual people in Iran, whose judiciary has hanged, stoned and crucified several thousdands since the 1979 revolution.

  17. “A powerful educational experiential?” Such academemespeak! I note too that she herself apparently didn’t extend an invite to the little Iranian liar to chat. So I guess she felt that it wouldn’t have been quite so powerful an educational experiential had it been held in Baristaville on her own campus. Columbia rocks!
    For the record, I think the invite to the nutter was fine. (No such invite and he’d definitely have “won” in the court of public opinion among the crazoes.) But believe it or not, Grove-r, I don’t think anyone else posting here now thinks your grad school connection is of any import re your posts, which stand or fall by themselves. Now, however, if it’d turned out that mikey is a CU grad student there…..
    Speaking of whom, mikey, you’re being nasty again. Ban laserboy! Ban laserboy! I hope the men in white coats with nets come knocking on your front door soon, as a public service to the rest of us.

  18. Nope! Still do not agree. Here is why:
    Mr. Hitler was not born into power. He slowly rose to power. He was no “overnight star”. I do 100% believe in giving people the right to express themselves, yes, even when their opinions are unpopular. However, when those opinions are calling for the destruction of a country and all of it’s people, there I draw the line.
    Israel is not only the home of the Jewish people, lest you forget, it is a peaceful sanctuary of both Christians & Jews and home of the birth-place of Jesus Christ, home of the Wailing Wall, and more. This nutcase wants to destory all of that, and is trying to lead the sheep to accept his thoughts. Sheep are stupid animals!
    This is big time stuff, the main show.
    It’s disrespectfull to the American Jewish population, to allow this Neo-Nazi face time, anywhere at all. It’s also disrespectfull to Non Jewish people as he wants to wipe Jesus birthplace off the map.
    Trust me on this. (or ask most any Rabbi ~ they know)!
    IF he tries, Not America, Not England, Not France, and Not Italy, but little Israel will not only wipe Ashitdickjjad off the map but the country he thinks he represents off the map in under 24 hours. Many American Jews are aware of this knowledge. Ask around in Brooklyn!!

  19. Cathar,
    Judging by how often you reference Lasermike in your posts — more often than not unbidden — I think I’ve uncovered your secret. You lust after Lasermike. You’ll be a lot happier if you just come out and admit it.

  20. Actually, Tom Traubert, I lust after you. Mikey has just been a convenient “beard” for my feelings unto thee. That you posted so dopily only makes it seem that you and he are even very near each other in gray cell levels. (And mikey and I have a long history together here; I even once publicly spurned him thrice at a dance).
    Feel better now?

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