Daily Archives: September 25, 2007

Pop Quiz: Who’s Nuttier?

We don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country. In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who has told you that we have it.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President, Islamic Republic of Iran
Speaking at Columbia University
September 24, 2007

[W]e would like to strongly caution media and campus organizations against the use of such words as “gay”, “lesbian”, or “homosexual” to describe people in Iran who engage in same-sex practices and feel same-sex desire. The construction of sexual orientation as a social and political identity and all of the vocabulary therein is a Western cultural idiom. As such, scholars of sexuality in the Middle East generally use the terms “same-sex practices” and “same-sex desire” in recognition of the inadequacy of Western terminology. President Ahmadinejad’s presence on campus has provided an impetus for us all to examine a number of issues, but most relevant to our concerns are the complexities of how sexual identity is constructed and understood in different parts of the world.

Columbia Queer Alliance
Email to News Outlets
September 24, 2007

To their credit, the CQA were out there in the street, demonstrating against President Ahmadinejad. But still, I think the President meant there are no gays or lesbians or homosexuals or same-sex practictioners in Iran, because they’ve fucking hanged them all. I say the more important point is not how sexual identify is constructed and understood in Iran, but rather how it’s brutally punished.

(h/t Andrew Sullivan)