The mocking laughter of students at Columbia University to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statement came from their sense of multi-cultural superiority. The students were laughing at Ahmadinejad’s naivety. Everyone knows that GLBT are everywhere and are to embraced, celebrated and encouraged. To those at Columbia, Ahmadinejad is just another gay-denier, just like Bush and other religious fundamentalists. To these students this belief is laughable and mockable, much worse than Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust.
And the Iranian leader denied that homosexuality exists in his country when asked to explain the execution of homosexuals in Iran.
"In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country," he said, to laughter and boos from the audience. 'In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have this."
The problem is that these all-knowing Columbia University students are tragically ignorant. Ahmadinejad spoke the truth and this truth is not a laughing matter. In Iran, there are no “homosexuals like in your country.” To openly practice that behavior in Iran is a death sentence. Ahmadinejad has no tolerance for homosexuality, and he has the power and desire to eradicate anyone known (or even suspected) to practice that behavior.
His statement was not a punchline.