Columbia University amid a huge swirl of controversy. On his
website, the Iranian President published and scrubbed a portion of
the transcript, according to PageOneQ.com.
Which section was scrubbed? It was the part of the question and
answer session wherein Ahmadinejad claimed there were no
homosexuals in Iran. Interestingly, the section was removed only
from the Persian language translation of the speech, and left
in-tact in the English version.
Ahmadinejad stated: “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your
country. In Iran we do not have this phenomenon, I don’t know who
has told you that we have it.” The audience responded with
PageOneQ contacted the Iranian Embassy regarding the transcript
inconsistencies, at which point the entire question and answer
portion was removed from the site.
Ahmadinejad’s comments are truly outrageous, and the fact the he
removed them from the Persian translation speaks to their deceit;
his own people would certainly have recognized the absurdity of the
PageOneQ, Paula Ettlebrick, executive director of the
International Gay and Lesbian Rights Commision had this to say:
The first reaction of many of us was to join in the
astonished response to President Ahmadinejad’s clearly outrageous
view that no lesbian or gay people live in Iran. But, the
whitewashing of his comments from the eyes and ears of most Iranian
citizens speaks to something more troubling. His denial attempts to
simply erase from public view the lives of men and women who face
regular abuse in his country. Perhaps he knows he could not
credibly get away with such a denial among his own people.
To date, not a single Persian-language media outlet in Iran –
including Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, and the
semi-independent news agencies, ISNA, Mehrrnews and Farsnews, and
the Wednesday morning newspapers – has reported on the President’s