Talk:Iranian President Ahmadinejad speaks at Columbia University

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Original reporting notesEdit

User:David Shankbone attented the event and took the pictures.

No photos from inside the debate, by chance? Sherurcij refusing to add Original Reporting until PD Articles are allowed 00:24, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
No, reporters weren't allowed in the debate. --David Shankbone 03:54, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Is this...Edit

Is this an article about the protests or about the actual speaking engagement? --SVTCobra 01:19, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

I really think both topics would be covered better in separate articles - one about the protests, one about the debate. Right now neither gets the full coverage it deserves. Sherurcij refusing to add Original Reporting until PD Articles are allowed 23:19, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I split them up, see Protests mark Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia University - hopefully I didn't step on any toes with this - I just really want to see both issues get full attention. Also hopefully this will help "quiet" those who complain about the "role" given to specific protestors - since it won't appear that "omg, only communists protested!" or anything, they're now being quoted in an article *about* the protest. Sherurcij refusing to add Original Reporting until PD Articles are allowed 23:50, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

as it is now ...Edit

... this article is very POV. Some kind of pro-NYC because NYC is so cool and progressive POV. It hardly deals with what Ahmadinejad (or even Bollinger) said at the event. --SVTCobra 01:33, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

  • I think that's more your bias than anything. People always assume New Yorkers think "we're so cool" and in reality we just have local pride, like everywhere else. I think few people consider that the United Nations has a drastic affect on the city, and I think it is surprising to many that every day that operatives of the governments of Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, et. al. work and walk among us on American soil. It's not a "we're cool" it's context put forth for consideration. Let's leave the anti-New York crap out of this. --David Shankbone 02:16, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
It's still very POV, you can't go (as the reporter) referring to a country's "horrific treatment of gays", that's for editorials. Learn the difference. You're not Bill O'Reilly or Michael Moore - you're a reporter, report the facts - don't colour it with your own views. Sherurcij refusing to add Original Reporting until PD Articles are allowed 03:05, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Note also that unless you can tell us what line of the Quran he was reading, it isn't relevant at all - and just serves to try and paint him as varelse. In all likelihood he was opening his speech with an invocation - it's hardly newsworthy in and of itself. Let's not descend to tabloid barbarism ourselves. Sherurcij refusing to add Original Reporting until PD Articles are allowed 03:20, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Quran reading by AhmadinejadEdit

Article 16 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic stipulates, "Arabic...must be taught after elementary level, in all classes of secondary school and in all areas of study."[1].

"After reading in Arabic from the Koran" shouldn't have been removed.--Crzy 03:09, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Unless you can tell what passage it was, it isn't relevant. See above. Sherurcij refusing to add Original Reporting until PD Articles are allowed 03:23, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
See here about "reciting verses from the Koran in Arabic."--Crzy 03:31, 25 September 2007 (UTC)


This isn't very neutral. It's not very wiki style either. It acts like the U.S. is evil. Contralya 07:31, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

The Iranian president was certainly not neutral. Just because he was here, doesn't mean he likes the US. Remember he only came here to speak at the UN, regardless if Colombia invited him or not. Hard to make a POV speech NPOV. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 07:36, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
The article acts like "American Imperialism" is a real tangible thing, for instance. It may be a common belief to anti-americans, but it is not a neutral fact. This article would probably insult some 200 million people. Contralya 07:39, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
The insult is allowing an international criminal into our country, then letting him walk out of here without so much as a slap on the wrist. I think its more insulting to the 200 million people who never wanted him in the country to begin with. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 07:47, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
But what I am talking about is a un-neutral statement in the article, it isn't in any quotes or the fact that it happened. I think I can fix the statement. Contralya 08:08, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
To me it sounds a bit anti-Ahmadinejad. Every quote is followed or preceeded by a qualification of his words. Overall, the article is very informative and easy to read. Another thing: I think Wikinews might have misquoted him: "In Iran, tradition requires that when we invite a person to be a speaker, we actually respect our students and the professors by allowing them to make their own judgment and we don’t think it’s necessary before the speech is even given to come in with a series of claims..." I had read, on CNN and Reuters something along the lines of: "there is no need to vaccinate students..." I'm not sure which is the correct quote. -- 11:27, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
  • The American imperialism "issue" was one of the protesters, so it belongs in the article. In fact, a photo and quote deals directly with it. By including that as an "issue" we aren't saying that it is real or not real. Just that it's an issue of the protesters. Regarding the quote, it was taken from the New York Times. I can check it later. Thanks for inquiring about it. --David Shankbone 12:40, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
    • Well, it DOES imply to a casual reader that it is a fact, rather than a theory (it is a theory). I am not against mentioning it, but it should have words accompanying it that show that it is a theory or opinion, rather than a fact. Contralya 12:53, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
In his mind, Iranian President's, this is NOT theory, but fact and thats what they teach/tell their people. Just because they don't follow the same thoughts as we (Americans) do, does not make it false. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 12:57, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Than the article should more clearly state that it is what he was thinking, and not saying that the idea is a valid fact. Contralya 12:59, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
No because in their culture, this is a fact. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 13:00, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
But the ARTICLE acts like this is a fact. It needs to state that it is what HE was talking about. It is really not such a good sentence.Contralya 13:03, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Well reword it :) But if this is an exact quote from someone, then technically we cannot reword it... DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 13:05, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

It isn't an exact quote! It needs to be said in the sentence that the sentence is describing what he talked about. There are lots of things the sentence could mean, it could mean the facts that those things were happening, that the protesters were talking about, what the guy from the school talked about, or what that Mockme Imanutjob guy talked about. Contralya 13:07, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

The sentence is not about what Ahmadinejad was talking about, but what the protesters were protesting about. Hence, "American Imperialism" --David Shankbone 14:44, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

He spoke in EnglishEdit

Can someone confirm what language he spoke in? Thanks. --Bill3 11:53, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Not sure. But it was not english. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 11:54, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I would think that he opened in Arabic, since Islam believes that Arabic is the correct tongue when reading from the Koran, but more likely he spoke in Farsi, which is what they speak in Iran. But I will see if I can find out. --David Shankbone 12:42, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
It was Persian. Iranians dont speak Arabic.--Zereshk 14:47, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Unless they are reading the Koran... --David Shankbone 16:38, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Letter from top 6 universities of Iran to BolingerEdit

If someone has the time, please translate this letter, which has been signed and sent to Bolinger by the presidents of Iran's top 6 universities. In it, they challenge Bolinger with 10 questions, and demand to know why Bolinger was so disrespectful toward a guest of the university. The 10 questions written are:

  1. Why is the US media so adamant on spending hours everyday attacking our president, yet they have such a hard time allowing him to come there and defend himself against levelled accusations?
  2. Now that youre in the habit of giving your opinions to everyone, please explain also why did your govt topple our elected govt in 1953?
  3. Why did your govt support Saddam against our country even when he was using chemical weapons against us?
  4. Why does the US govt oppose our solution of a referendum in all of Palestine as a solution to the mid-east crisis?
  5. Why has your govt not yet captured Bin Laden, in spite of having the most sophisticated intelligence of the world? How do you explain the trade ties between Bush and the Bin Laden family? Why does he oppose further investigations into 9-11?
  6. Why do you support the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq (MEK) organization when it openly admits to killing Iranian civilians?
  7. Why did the US invade Iraq? Where are those weapons of mass destruction? How do you justify the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis because of your invasion?
  8. Why are the most despicable dictatorships in the Middle-East also close allies of your govt?
  9. Why does your govt oppose the proposal to make the ME a nuke free zone, including Israel?
  10. Why does the US govt seem so unhappy with any improvement Iran makes with the IAEA?

I think it would be worth a mention.--Zereshk 14:18, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Naw, it wouldnt make the article better. But this questions should be read and contemplated by all editors to this article. Specially read by the majority of contributors on wikinews, those from usa-dominated culturs who just cant make articles NPOW when their feelings get little scratched. Myself i see the similarities between Ahmadinejad and Bush alarming and distastfull. international 00:08, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

can never be neutralEdit

This article would be almost impossible to be truly neutral. It is not like wikinews has anywhere near as much coverage of the event as TV news services did...

For example, there are facts that some people won't agree on that need to be in the article, like how he said the holocaust was a myth before, and now says that the most investigated event in history needs to be re investigated. He said that there are no homosexuals in Iran, which is a lie, or based on the fact that they kill them all. He FLAT OUT LIED about cooperating with inspectors of the nuclear facilities. And, you can't take the words of random protesters and act like they are extremely relivant...

This article is too much trouble and there is NO WAY that it can be right. Wikipedia doesn't have the sources, coverage or processing that big news agencies have, and it is impossible to look at this with a STRICT POV. All the news agencies have people that they interview to show various sides of an argument, wikinews doesn't.

With this sort of thing, it probably should be left to the professionals. I mean, it seems like they don't go 20 minutes without talking about the event. Wikinews is good for most things in the news, due to the wikipedia links and the neutrality, but this event is not for us.

What he says contredicts himself, and known facts. This needs to be pointed out, but how do we do that without compromising POV? We can't very well. But if we leave it out, than we act like his contradictions and lies didn't happen, which would mislead many.

By the way, do we have an article on the 'general betray us' ad? That event is similarly controversial.Contralya 17:17, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

I completely disagree that this article cannot be neutral. At Wikinews we report what was said, not whether what was said is correct or not. The quotes are attributed and make up a seemingly-accurate description of events. It is not our place to judge the validity of opinions, and I think the article no longer makes such a judgment. It would be helpful to note when any speaker makes a contradiction, but by presenting different points of view in an article we let the reader make up her or his own mind given other information they know or have gathered over their life. -- IlyaHaykinson 17:57, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Well I think there are two views: The world view of how he contradicted himself, lied, made a fool of himself, and only wanted propaganda for his homeland; and the stuff he says.

I don't know if that 'communist' traitor's comment really belongs in the article, it clearly doesn't reflect the views of very many people. Would you put the comments of a Nazi party or KKK protester on wikinews for something that has nothing to do with them? It is not relevant information, it is just the opinion of ONE protester, the communist party is extremely small, and I think most other protesters would be offended by us implying that most protesters think as the communist. And I maintain my stance (by the way, I am NOT the person who put the neutrality tag up, check the recent history). Contralya 18:23, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Some contextEdit

I have tried adding some context to this story, about why people are so upset with Ahmadinejad and his visit. Two sources that have been covering this story in detail include 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, which is written by a group of 9/11 family members and Michelle Malkin who covers things from a more conservative perspective. While I may disagree with some of her politics, she's done good work in covering 9/11-related topics. These sites point to additional sources covering the story. Aude 17:48, 25 September 2007 (UTC)


I think the communist party comment should be taken out of the article. It is clear that most of the protesters aren't communist party. The communist party is a SMALL radical group that doesn't represent the views of very many Americans. They are sort of like the Nazi party. Having the comment of that individual who's view doesn't reflect the crowd deludes the article. I am sure most of the people in the group would be offended if they were thought to be all communist party. And it gives casual viewers the idea that the communist party is actually in an active revolution and has numbers! Why not just leave the comment of that person out? Contralya 18:43, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

This is your opinion, and you weren't the reporter on the scene, I was. It was my responsibility to find a broad range of opinion. And if you Google "Sonsara Taylor" you'll see there is a lot information out there, including appearances on The O'Reilly Factor, et. al. We aren't here to determine who is most representative of the protesters; we are here to report what and who we find, and that's what I did. I request you stop trying to change the article to reflect *your* POV. --David Shankbone 18:46, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, but the article implies that a number of the protesters are communist party! And they are a small insignificant group. Are you communist party? They have little or no influence on the government, and there is no revolution. And I am sure Fritz Kuhn had his share of recognition in his days... that doesn't mean he represented the people or government. Contralya 18:49, 25 September 2007 (UTC)


Having hjust reviewed his speech, unless I missed something, he never quoted Sunsara Taylor, so he wasn't "echoing" her at all - he was offering his own views. Any issues if I remove this, or did I just skip over that part of the tape? Sherurcij refusing to add Original Reporting until PD Articles are allowed 23:25, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes, that's a dead reference from an earlier draft that should be removed. --David Shankbone 23:26, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

While quoting Ahmadinezhad's views on the "holocaust research", the article fails to mention his main refrain on this theme: During his Columbia speech, more than once, he said things to the effect that "granted that the holocaust did happen, what did the Palistinians have to do with it? Why should they pay for somebody else's mistakes?". From his speech and earlier comments it is clear that Ahmadinezhad is not questioning the historicity of the holocaust. He is critical of the fact that holocaust is being used to justify aggression against other people who had nothing to do with it. This, however, is very efficiently filtered out in the western media. 04:04, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

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