"If he were willing to engage in a debate and a discussion, to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we would certainly invite him," Coatsworth said.
The Dean's comments came in defense of his decision to host Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while the controversial leader is in New York to address the UN General Assembly. A trip to Ground Zero the Ahmadinejad hoped to make was nixed by the NYPD. Similarly, Columbia has come under fire for its decision not to cancel the forum.
The Iranian President left Tehran for New York today and will participate in a question and answer forum at Columbia tomorrow.There's a few things that people should realize about Ahmadinejad: First, he's not Hitler and has little in common with the man. Iran is a poor country with a a rich natural resource: Oil. Postwar Germany was a poor country without many natural resources at all, which led to their wanting to take over other countries. Ahmadinejad hates Israel; Hitler wanted to send the Jews back to Israel, which did not yet exist. The list goes on, but the point is, comparing him to Hitler is absurd, and people getting riled up over this man coming to America for an open discourse is offensive. When did America's motto become "If we don't agree with what you have to say, keep your mouth shut."?