This week the once-esteemed Columbia University will host another speaker in its on-going “Conversations with Islamo-Fascists" series. I can hear the speaker’s introduction music now:
You can reach me by caravan,
Cross the desert like an Arab man
I don't care how you get here,
Just get here if you can
This is the second time that Columbia University has invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak on their campus. His first speech was canceled because of security concerns. No, not security concerns over inviting a terrorist to an American university, but concerns that they couldn’t guarantee the safety of the terrorist.
Rest assured that Columbia doesn’t discriminate. In fact, they would also welcome European anti-Semitic mass murderers. Columbia Dean John Coatsworth told Fox News, “If Hitler were in the United States and wanted a platform in which to speak he would have plenty of platforms to speak in the United States. If he were willing to engage in debate and discussion to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we would certainly invite him.”
I can just imagine the hard-hitting questions the faculty will ask Ahmadinejad. I can think of at least one challenge that Columbia Professor Nicholas De Genova may have for him. At a 2003 “teach-in,” De Genova said, “I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus.” For the Columbia students that missed that lecture, De Genova was referring to the 1993 incident in which the bodies of American soldiers were dragged through the streets in Somalia.
De Genova would demand, "President Ahmadinejad, how many Mogadishus would you like to see? Answer the question!" If he says any number less than a million, he’s clearly a tool of Halliburton or Fox News. (I was never that good with following the radical left’s logic.)
It’s actually more likely that De Genova thinks Ahmadinejad is a hero. At the same teach-in, De Genova also said the “only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military.”
In response to criticism for giving Ahmadinejad a forum, Columbia President Lee Bollinger said it was part of “Columbia’s long-standing tradition of serving as a major forum for robust debate.” The Ahmadinejad defenders tout the importance of free speech. Their defense is completely laughable because college campuses have become institutions with zero respect for free speech. This is like Sarah Brady touting the Second Amendment when she bought her 22-year-old son a rifle for Christmas.
Be the first to read Lisa De Pasquale's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.