Paris, 28 Sept. (IPS) The “performances” of the fanatic Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York during past days was the topics of the press around the world, mostly thanks to the surprising treatment of the Iranian President at the Columbia University in the one hand and the kicks he got from the American pro-Israeli-Jewish press and community on the other.
In his introduction, Mr. Lee Bollinger, the president of the Columbia University told the audience at the World Leaders Forum of the Columbia University that the guest, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, is “a petty and cruel dictator” and added that “his denial of the Holocaust showed he was brazenly provocative of astonishingly uneducated”.
I’m ashamed of myself to feel that because of the insults he got in New York, I share the humiliations made to him, a man whom I don’t like at all.
For his part, the Mayor of New York used harsh words when he rejected Iranian President’s wishes to visit the “Ground Zero”, the site of the world’s most dramatic and horrendous terrorist operations, when, in 11 September 2001, two civilian planes commanded by Muslim terrorists crushed the vessels in the World Trade Centre’s twin towers, killing more than 3.500 people under the ashes of the collapsing buildings.
The consequences of the operation changed the face of the world, made the Muslims and Islam the West’s, and America, the number one enemy.
To the Iranians, for whom a guest is a “friend of God” and to host reserves him the best of the food, the most comfortable sitting place and receives him with outmost politeness, even the great majority inside and outside that are against Ahmadinejad’s national and international policies, found the comments of Mr. Bollinger insulting, particularly because he is an academic. To most of Iranians, Ahmadinejad looked like the victim.
“I don’t think anywhere in the world except the United States someone would introduce his guest the way the president of the Columbia University did in his introduction of Mr. Ahmadinejad”, an Iranian business manager in France told Iran Press Service, adding: “I’m ashamed of myself to feel that because of the insults he ushered to Ahmadinejad, I share the humiliations made to him, a man whom I don’t like at all”.
However, if at home the remarks by the “impolite” Bollinger prompted sharp reactions from the deans of five major Iranian universities as well as 200 lawmakers and pro-Government media, praising his stay in New York as "historical, memorable and a triumph", and described his observations at the World Leaders Forum, his speech at the United Nations General Assembly, his answers to the press, in one word, his performance in New York as “courageous, in point and incisive, making Muslims happy and angering enemies like Israel”, other politicians, political analysts, some pro-reform newspapers and independent journalists put the blame squarely on the President.
“In answer to Mr. Ahjmadinejad’s desire to visit the site of the twin towers, the Mayor of New York ushered the most vulgar insults openly to our President and in an unethical way, the president of the Columbia University made the worst possible insults to him. These men are responsible people, those words were not pronounced during demonstrations, these people insulted not only the President of Iran, but the whole of Iranians and Iranian nation. This is not something Iranians expect from their President”, wrote in his blog former vice president Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Ali Abtahi.
The question many Iranians ask is “what was the aim of Mr. Ahmadinejad from this trip if he had nothing new to say or to propose?”. They also ask why his advisers did not brief him, did not prepared him correctly on “burning subjects” he may face by the, students and the press in particular?
“The UNGA is a forum for the world’s leaders to meet and solve problems: Is meeting a petty dictator like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, a man who turned a potentially rich African nation in one of the world’s poorest countries, or some leaders from obscure nations is a triumph? Is it not insulting for the President of a country like Iran, the most powerful and strategically important in the Middle East, to be ignored by the leaders of major countries that shape the world affairs? Did he have any new proposal to announce? Why repeating all the nonsense about the Holocaust, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Iranian controversial nuclear programme he had already said in his two past appearances at the UNGA and repeated over and over in his speeches and conferences at home?” are some of the points raised by many Iranian political analysts.
“Mr. Ahmadinejad did not need to go to New York to say what he thinks about Holocaust, for, when he for the first time proposed his idea about the event, he was in a remote village in Zahedan (the capital city of the eastern province of Sistan and Balouchistan) and it immediately made the headlines world over, without him needing to traveling that far”, Mr. Abtahi observed in his blog.
In an article published by the independent, pro-reform internet newspaper “Rooz” on 25 September, Mr. Ebrahim Nabavi, a popular satirical journalist resumed all these questions, observing, in his “piquant” style, why people think Mr. Bollinger was “insulting” and “unethical”?
The question many Iranians ask is “what was the aim of Mr. Ahmadinejad from this trip if he had nothing new to say or to propose?”.
“Is the Iranian President not a little dictator? He is! Is he not short? He is! Is he not ruthless? Put the question to the thousands of young Iranian boys and girls, men and women who get arrested in the streets, taken to police stations or in jail and beaten up. Ask the question from the dervishes, those people who are the most peaceful and symbolises compassion and love who have been arrested, beaten up, expelled! Put the question to the students who are in prison and tortured for article they have not wrote! Ask the question from the teachers, workers, drivers who are in jail, hair dressers whose shops are shut! If those are not proving of ruthlessness, what it is then?”
“He (Lee Bollinger) said Ahmadinejad is “uneducated”. Is a man who ignores the history and the geography of is own country, a man who can not count properly, who makes terrible mistakes, both grammatically and in writing, when he speaks or writes, is such a man educated? Does Ahmadinejad not violate human rights? He says Iran is without doubt the freest country in the world. Is a country where more than 200 publications have been closed down, where there are no more independent and free press, where professional journalists are in prison, or silenced, or have left the country, where the leader of the regime openly consider journalists as spies, orders the media not write anything about the Assembly of Experts and orders the Parliament no to debate a proposal aimed at amending the press laws is a free nation? Is the President of a regime that hangs homosexuals and claims there are no homosexuals in his country a sincere man?”
Many Iranian wonders why Ahmadinejad lies where he can explain the situation much more easily and sincerely. ”Why he says Iranian women are the freest in the world while he can explain that under the Islamic Canons on which is based Iranian Constitutions, women and religious minorities are considered half of men and half of Muslims. Why he says there are no homosexuals in Iran while it is a matter of fact that anywhere normal relationship between men and women are prohibited, like in Iran, homosexuality become generalized, among both men and women. Why he does not explain that according to Islam, women must be covered in public from hairs to toes. Why he says Iran is probably one of the freest and democratic nations of the world where there are tens of so-called red lines?
“The fact is that Ahmadinejad is a genuine liar. And because he is deeply religious, he does not want Islam to be blamed for the discriminations against women and religious minorities, for the limitation of freedoms, for absence of democracy and justice”, a journalist who travels often with Mr. Ahmadinejad explained. AHMADI NEW YORK 28907