I am ashamed to belong to a profession (academe) that also claims the president of Columbia University as one of its members.
This man invites a person euphemistically called the "president" of Iran (he was virtually hand-picked by the ruling clergy) to speak at Columbia. This "president" represents a regime that has had plenty of blood on its hands since 1979, and has systematically stifled and persecuted its own freedom-seeking citizens, particularly women. Externally, he has managed to alienate most of the free world with his outrageous statements (about the Holocaust) as well as actions (creation/support of Hezbollah).
So, when the president of Columbia University invites this man and then introduces him in the most insulting way, he must feel very satisfied with himself for "trapping" his guest, not realizing that, by doing so, he has given this charlatan the moral high ground.
If your guest is such a terrible person (which he is), you do not give him the opportunity to abuse the sacred podium at the temple of knowledge to spew lies and propaganda.
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The mind of the president of Columbia University must be quite open: Most of its contents have already evaporated!