Posts tagged with 'ahmadinejad'

Reconsider, S'il Vous Plaît

Posted by Shapiro Ron on September 20, 2011 @ 12:06 am

This piece was featured in the Columbia Spectator on Tuesday, September 20, 2011.  It was written by the Columbia Spectator Editorial Board (Samuel E. Roth recused himself from the writing of this editorial because he previously served on CIRCA’s executive board).  It was not written by a LionPAC member.

Columbia International Relations Council and Association’s plan to dine with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this Wednesday has raised a few eyebrows on campus and in national and international media. Given the implications of dining with a man accused of gross human rights violations, political repression, and hostility toward the United States, we urge CIRCA to reconsider its decision to participate.

Numerous media outlets­—American and Iranian alike—have inaccurately equated CIRCA’s acceptance of the invitation as from the University as a whole. National news outlets have demonstrated no more commitment to honest reporting than Iran’s, and we hope that the international community understands that CIRCA’s actions do not represent the University’s views as a whole. Fox News inaccurately claimed that President Bollinger was attending the dinner, a statement it later corrected.

While we uphold Columbia’s commitment to free speech, open dialogue, and freedom of association, CIRCA’s attendance at the dinner surpasses the bounds of responsible group behavior. We don’t doubt that the students involved in the dinner identify an opportunity to engage a world leader in a sincere gesture of diplomacy, but to do so with a leader like Ahmadinejad is not constructive.

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UANI Calls On Columbia University President to Cancel Ahmadinejad Dinner

Posted by Shapiro Ron on September 13, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

UANI logoNew York, NY - On Tuesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) President, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, issued the following statement following reports that Columbia University President Lee Bollinger has arranged to attend a private dinner for Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Columbia students.

UANI calls on Columbia University’s President Lee Bollinger to cancel this “dinner with Ahmadinejad” immediately. It is highly inappropriate for the leader of a prestigious U.S. University to meet with the head of a regime that is defying the international community by pursuing nuclear weapons, ruthlessly violating the human rights of its people, and sponsoring al-Qaeda and other terrorists. Would Mr. Bollinger attend an event with the leaders of al-Qaeda?

Four years ago, Bollinger hosted Ahmadinejad under the guise of “dialogue,” and Columbia was widely criticized for that irresponsible decision, particularly given the offensive theories and remarks Ahmadinejad stated that day. To repeat the same mistake this year would be a serious affront to New York City and America.

This is not a matter of dialogue or free speech, but of judgment. Providing Ahmadinejad with a forum to spread his vile and conspiratorial views regarding 9/11 and the Holocaust, among others matters, gives him the very platform and legitimacy he seeks, and will once again significantly harm Columbia University’s reputation.

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Iran Week: a journey of cooperation

Posted by jonathanhuberman on April 7, 2011 @ 10:53 am

Courtesy: Columbia Daily Spectator

This piece was featured in the Columbia Spectator on Friday, March 4, 2011.  It was collaboratively written by Jonathan Huberman, LionPAC Director of Public Relations, and Roxanne Moadel-Attie, President of Columbia Iranian Students Association.

In light of the recent political instability in the Middle East, Iran, like many other countries in the region, has become a centerpiece of American attention and media. However, very few have focused on the spirit and culture of the Iranian people. This week, the Columbia Iranian Students Association and LionPAC are hosting several events that analyze the geopolitical questions surrounding Iran within the context of Iranian culture and nationalism.

Despite Iran’s rich culture, Iranians all over the world are negatively stereotyped based on the actions and behavior of their unpopular government. The word “Iranian” has become a loaded term used only in association with “nuclear weapons,” “Islamic fundamentalism,” and “terrorism.” These media hot topics have overshadowed the long-standing ethnic and religious diversity within Iran, spotlighting overgeneralizations and negativity about Iranians on the whole. Contrary to common misconceptions, Iranians belong to a variety of ethnic groups, including Persians, Kurds, Azeris, Arabs, Armenians, etc., and practice many religions, such as Shi’ite and Sunni Islam, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and the Baha’i faith. The beauty of the mainstream Persian culture lies in its ability to interweave many ethnic and religious beliefs and traditions, while also honoring ancient customs and rituals.

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