Columbia Dean John Coatsworth said in an interview yesterday that if Hitler came to New York, he would have been invited to speak at Columbia University in the spirit of robust dialog.
"If he were willing to engage in a debate and a discussion, to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we would certainly invite him," Coatsworth said.
The Dean's comments came in defense of his decision to host Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while the controversial leader is in New York to address the UN General Assembly. A trip to Ground Zero the Ahmadinejad hoped to make was nixed by the NYPD. Similarly, Columbia has come under fire for its decision not to cancel the forum.
The Iranian President left Tehran for New York today and will participate in a question and answer forum at Columbia tomorrow.