I’d like to believe that the would-be dinner hosts at New York’s Columbia University who invited Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a gala dinner with them suddenly realized the error of their ways and withdrew the invitation–but in fact it was the creepy little dictator who stood them up instead.
Ahmadinejad is the charmer who says “there are no gays in Iran” (because he tortures and kills any he finds) maintains that the Holocaust is “a myth”, and that Neda, the pretty young woman murdered by his henchmen in a crackdown on young Iranians demonstrating for freedom, was actually “killed by the BBC.”
Hey, who wouldn’t want to have dinner with this rascal? Virtually everyone but the fifteen members of CIRCA (the Columbia International Relations Council and Association) who rolled out the red carpet for Ahmadinejad and were scheduled to dine with him this week. They defended the invite by saying they believe in “total free speech”, described themselves as “brave” and “open-minded,” and that they would invite anyone prominent on the world stage to dine with them.
Their so-called open-mindedness might be more believable if they had indeed invited other controversial/bigoted world figures for dinner, say Dutch right wing anti-Muslim politician Geert Wilders, or Jean-Marie Le Pen, head of France’s National Front Party. But hell will freeze over before that happens.
Why is that? Is it because these extreme right wingers are more bigoted than Ahmadinejad? Have made more outrageous remarks or hurt more people? Not quite.
I think the fact that Ahmadinejad regularly bashes America is what gives him that certain je ne sais quoi with the hypocritical CIRCA crowd. And bonus: this week he sided with the so-called “truthers”, who believe that it was America itself, not Osama Bin Laden, who engineered the 9-11 attacks and murdered its own citizens. While most of us retch from such statements, CIRCA is captivated. We must dine with this intriguing gentleman!
Luckily, there are still sane students attending Columbia, and this week a large number of them formed a group called “Just Say No to Ahma (dinner) jad,” promising that they would launch a massive, loud protest if CIRCA members hosted the mass murderer and muddied the name of their school.
Hearing this, Mousey Mahmoud quickly reconsidered his dinner plans. Since he’s repeatedly shown he isn’t keen on protests against his vile world view and behavior, and couldn’t open fire on the “Just Say No” crowd, he decided to take a pass on the reception.
But perhaps CIRCA can arrange a dinner with Ahmadinejad in Iran. And I hope they fly their “free speech” banner high over there. Best of luck with that, and bon appetit, guys!
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