Iran’s Hitler-esque President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, addressed the faculty and students of Columbia University yesterday, accorded more respect and honor than many worthier alternatives, such as a certain former President of Harvard. President Ahmadinejad’s surreal portrayal of Iran as a sublime paradise of Justice and Peace, where no one is homosexual or sexist or hateful in any way, combined with his sneering derision of the ideals and practices of the country hosting his visit, is reasonably reminiscent of Adolf Hitler, who also assured his neighbors that he was a peaceful man who merely wanted ‘lebensraum’, and who simply asserted his country’s natural desire for Justice. Ahmadinejad presides over a government which murders people for having sex out of wedlock, which includes any homosexual act, and ruthlessly suppresses criticism and free speech in Iran, yet he has no shortage of supporters and allies demanding he be allowed a stage and a live microphone anywhere and anytime he desires, all in the name of Free Speech. Few people seem to have considered the validity of that claim.
The odd thing, President Ahmadinejad has never faced the same sort of censorship his own regime employs. His opinion and statements have a large and ready audience, and there is no need – whatsoever – for a prestigious university to grant him prominence so that he can express his views. Therefore, the only logical reason for Columbia University to have agreed to host this monster from Teheran, was either out of a perverse thirst for publicity, or else agreement in general of his statements and motives. Given the high level of education of its alumni and regents, and the long-established procedures for inviting their selected guest speakers, it is implausible beyond possibility for this to have been an honest error, or merely exercise of a noble ideal. Make no mistake, Columbia’s masters wanted the damnable man standing at a lectern under their banner, as some proud accomplishment of Columbia and all it stands for.
But it needs addressing, this peculiar notion that monsters have a moral right to be allowed to say whatever they like. I find it strange, that the mandarins at Columbia did not consider that they had a greater moral responsibility to present the opinions of the oppressed in Iran, say those Iranian students willing to defy the mullahs, or young Iranian women told that unless they obey the strict misogynist laws from a 7th-Century madman, they will be hanged. Perhaps a few of those homosexuals Mr. Ahmadinejad says do not exist in Iran, might be allowed their opportunity to rebut that claim? But no, doing the right thing, the just thing, that is not the ‘Columbia Way’, it appears. But we must wonder why only a tyrant deserves a stage?
But there is more. Voltaire defended the right to even that speech he despised, but even Voltaire did not suggest that speech he despised should be elevated and repeated well ahead of the words of wise and righteous men. It is well enough to know what a monster is about; it is quite beyond the pale to grant advantage and prominence to the thug in that exposition. Some defenders of the monster in question have suggested that allowing Ahmadinejad to speak will reveal him in all his absurdity, and somehow this may dissuade him from advancing his mania into action. But anyone who has read ‘Mein Kampf’ should be aware that evil men often grow in their arrogance from such attention; Hitler said what he meant to do, was allowed to talk at length and on countless occasions during the 1930s, and then he simply did what he had said he would do. With nuclear weapons under development, construction of submarines and military aircraft underway, sponsorship of dozens of terrorist groups and an army training incessantly for something, just how ‘astonishingly uneducated’ – to coin a phrase – would someone have to be to recognize that granting Ahmadinejad yet another big stage to feel important, is only going to increase the cost when his confidence finally crosses that point where he feels ready to launch the overt phase of Jihad against the Western world? Allowing Ahmadinejad the façade of eminence and respectability, is no more sane than trusting Charles Manson to raise your kids; he is quite simply that mad, that evil.