It's stupid enough that LeeBo issued the invite to MahAh to speak at Columbia. The latest idiocy can be found in the number of faculty members who actually support this move on "free speech" grounds.
The intellectual and moral dishonesty of this argument is staggering. Since when do our democratic principles demand that we give an audience to an international criminal and genocidal madman who has stated his ambition to kill us?
And by "us" I mean Jews and Americans. I am guessing that for MahAh, the two are virtually indistinguishable.
Yet Free Speech must prevail, state LeeBo's faculty supporters on campus, those staunch men and women charged with educating the next generation. Ideas must be free to be expressed in a university setting, they whine. Even controversial ones.
When was the last time Columbia gave a forum to the leaders of Gaymarriageno.org or Focus on the Family...with their anti-homosexual agenda? Why don't we host a panel discussion for advocates of Female Genital Mutilation? Hey, when Warren Jeffs finishes his trial, why doesn't he stop on by to chat about how amazing polygamy is? And wouldn't it be cool to have some Aryan Nation dudes come over and talk to us about why black people are inferior and should be shot?
And I'm not even going to bother discussing the hypocrisy of barring ROTC from campus while inviting the man from Iran.
Today's NY Times magazine had an article on honor killings in Syria. The article focuses on the tragic case of 15 year old Zahra, whose crime was having been raped. Well...her brother Fayyez set that little whore straight by stabbing her to death while she slept. And he believes that Islamic law mandates his actions. Certainly, his entire village celebrated when he relayed the news, by cellphone, that he had succeeded in killing her, thus clearing the family name.
Hey, LeeBo, why not invite Fayyez to Columbia so that our minds can be expanded by his understanding of Islamic law? Maybe he can even share the podium with Mahmoud? I'll bet the two guys would have lots in common!
If there were no limits to the concept of free speech, our society -- let alone the Columbia campus -- would be a complete circus. I'm fairly certain that 9/10th of the writers/thinkers/leaders who request a speaking gig are denied one for a variety of reasons, including ideological.
Universities tend to invite A-list speakers whom they find valuable for their students and faculty. These people include world leaders, authors, performers, scientists, personalities, celebrities, inventors, businesspeople and others.
Certainly, people with controversial views have spoken before and will continue to speak at Columbia as well as other campuses.
But to call Ahmadinejad's views merely controversial is to deny a dangerous reality: his aim is to kill us.
If his long-range missiles fell on Columbia University, he would proclaim a national day of celebration. Fayyez's village in Syria would probably be celebrating as well.
There is humor in the fact that the milquetoasty LeeBo is trying to spin the coming circus as a public tribunal/Hardball episode with him as an upper-crust Chris Matthews lobbing tough questions at MahAh to get things started, putting him in the hot seat, taking off the kid gloves, turning the spotlight on, giving him the old third degree, showing him what for.
The problem is that Ahmadinejad deserves a public hanging, ala Eichmann.
Not a Q&A at an Ivy League institution.
Well...clearly, my point of view will not prevail and alas, I'm not even going to be here to watch the circus.
By the time Mad Mahmoud arrives on campus, I will be walking through Jerusalem with Little Babe. At this time tomorrow evening, the youngest Babe and I will hopefully be aloft, en route to the Holy Land for this pre-Bar Mitzvah visit that coincides with the Bat Mitzvah of his cousin.
Yet, HOBB will be here on Mahmoud Monday, as he is a prof at this noble institution across the street from our home.
He promises to call me with news from the Big Top.