Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hypocrisy at Columbia University

Let me get this straight: Columbia University won’t allow any military recruiters on campus because they don’t like the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, but they let Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak on campus.

Yes, the same Ahmadinejad who, along questioning the Holocuast and saying Israel needs to be wiped off the world’s map, told a crowd at the university that “We don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don't have that in our country. We don't have this phenomenon; I don't know who's told you we have it.”

Reportedly, homosexuality is a capital offense in Iran, a country ran by an Islamic form of government.

Be that as it may, Arsham Parsi begs to differ with Ahmadinejad.

Who is Parsi? He’s a homosexual Iranian who left the Persian country to escape persecution. He now is head of the Toronto-based Iranian Queer Organization. He says there are many documented cases of gay persecution in Iran. Or, as many gay rights supporters would say, “hate crimes.”

But if Ahmadinejad thinks Parsi is alone as a gay Iranian, think again. International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission spokesperson Hossein Alizadeh, an Iranian homosexual who now lives in America, said in a New York Sun article that in Iran, there is “a constant fear of execution and persecution and also social stigma associated with homosexuality.”

Alizadeh added that there are many cases of Iranians seeking asylum because of their sexual orientation.

But, again, here’s what I don’t understand: with all these accusations (and I suspect they are the tip of the Iranian iceberg, why did Columbia allow Ahmadinejad the chance to speak? Is he really any better than the U.S. military policy of telling homosexuals, lesbians and bi-sexuals that they can serve as long as they don’t disclose their sexuality?

Give me a break.

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