Monday, September 24, 2007

On the Controversy at Columbia: Putting the Name of the Baha'i Faith in Front of a Watching World

"Columbia University - Iran Protest "
Uploaded on September 24, 2007 by keith.wick on flickr

Does not the controversy surrounding the presentation by the Iranian President at Columbia University today put in front of a watching world the name of the Faith in a most dramatic fashion?

As President Ahmadinejad rises to address the student body, Columbia President Lee Bollinger must rise in defense of every Baha'i student expelled from an Iranian university. This is a defining moment for our new century.

Makini Boothe, a Barnard College senior who spoke on behalf of Baha’i students, said her faith believes that “from the clash of opinions comes the spark of truth,” and so she supported Mr. Ahmadinejad’s right to speak.

And so I ask you -- (applause) -- and so I ask you, why have women, members of the Baha'i faith, homosexuals and so many of our academic colleagues become targets of persecution in your country?

OK, I've been MIA because of my sister's wedding, midterms, and Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia. He's the President of Iran, where Baha'i denial of education continues as a subtle persecution that is going unnoticed

MODERATOR: We have many questions regarding the Baha'i religious minority in Iran. Many of our questioners say that the Baha'i minority has been deprived of their human rights. What would your response be to that?
AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): In our constitution, Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Zoroastrianism are recognized as the official religions.

He has just called Ahmadinejad a "petty and cruel dictator" and is asking him about oppression of women, academics, Baha'i, the press, and other minorities and dissidents.

{Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic}

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