September 24, 2007
Iran's president, Columbia queers agree
Posted by: Chris
It's always nice when we can bridge the gap between West and East, Judeo-Christian and Muslim, left and right. Thanks to the Columbia University Queer Alliance, we can now say for sure that if you travel far enough left down the ideological spectrum, you'll circle round to the far-far-extremist right.
Columbia Queers, meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It turns out you crazy kids agree on one important point: There's no such thing as an Iranian homosexual.
You may have heard that Ahmadinejad offered that nugget of wisdom when confronted at a Columbia University appearance about his country's long history of abuse, including arrest, brutality and even capital punishment, for gays.
"We don't have homosexuals" in Iran, he said in response. "I don't know who told you we had it."
Well it certainly didn't come from Columbia's uber-progressive queer student group, who previewed Admadinejad's visit with a warning -- not to the "petty dictator," as Columbia University President Lee Bolinger memorably referred to him -- but to the rest of us:
We would like to strongly caution media and campus organizations against the use of such words as "gay," "lesbian," or "homosexual" to describe people in Iran who engage in same-sex practices and feel same-sex desire. The construction of sexual orientation as a social and political identity and all of the vocabulary therein is a Western cultural idiom. As such, scholars of sexuality in the Middle East generally use the terms "same-sex practices" and "same-sex desire" in recognition of the inadequacy of Western terminology.
There you have it, the radicals of the left tolerating even the most brutal forms of intoleranceon the right. It's bad enough that "scholars of sexuality in the Middle East" are, like the Iranian president, so anti-West and anti-gay that they would write us out of existence. But it's downright depressing to see bright young minds so tortured by self-hatred for their own culture than they buy into the bullshit.
There are gay people in Iran. Just ask Pegah Emambakhsh.
For a complete gay news summary on Iran, click or bookmark: http://gaynewswatch.com/iran
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