Monday, September 24, 2007

Let Ahmadinejad Speak? Of Course!

I sympathize with people who don't want President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran at Columbia University - or the United Nations, but, at the risk of seeming intolerant, America better than that.

Freedom is a difficult, uncomfortable, thing to maintain. There's always a temptation to make some people and ideas more free than others. (Tip of the hat to Orwell and his "more equal than others" phrase.)

I don't agree with the Iranian president, but I think he should not be denied (restricted) platforms for expressing his ideas.

On the other hand, no-one, except for Columbia students and UN personnel, is forced to listen.

My wish would be that nominally unbiased institutions such as Columbia University would extend the same courtesy to non-liberal Americans that they do to the Iranian president.

(This post first appeared, in less coherent form, in a BlogCatalog discussion thread.)

Related posts, on censorship, propaganda, and freedom of speech.
Related posts, on Individuals and the War on Terror.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.