Word is that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is going to swing by Columbia University when he is in New York City later this month for the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly. You’ll recall that, at this time in 2007, the university officially invited him, prompting an uproar; he was introduced by President Lee C. Bollinger in scathing terms, and then he went on to question the extent of the Holocaust and to flat-out deny the existence of homosexuals in the Islamic Republic. Anyway, this time it would be a smaller event, in midtown and not in Morningside Heights, and hosted by the Columbia International Relations Council and Association, not the university.
Still, this is red meat for hawks. I don’t mean people who want to bomb Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons facilities. I mean actual hawks! You see, Ahmadinejad’s arrival at Columbia in 2007 roughly coincided with the discovery of a red-tailed hawk on campus; quickly dubbed Hawkmadinejad by the campus blog Bwog, he was periodically spotted killing pigeons and squirrels and feasting on their remains, because let me tell you hawks are insane. (Don’t believe me? Squirrel. And this the French call squab.)
So here is hoping that a new fall brings a new Columbia controversy and a new bird of prey to bear his name. Ahmadinejowl, anyone?
Members of CIRCA to Dine with Ahmadinejad [Columbia Spectator]
Related: Ahmadinejad, at Columbia, Parries and Puzzles [NYT]
The Bird, the Legend: The Genesis of Hawkmadinejad [Bwog]