Not sure I buy it — if they’re that worried, why are some of the student spokesmen willing to give their names? — but this part is so sweet, it just has to be true. It just has to be:

“We were chanting, ‘Get lost Ahmadinejad!’ and ‘Ahmadinejad – element of discrimination and corruption.’ You could see from his face that he was really shocked. He wasn’t flashing his usual smile, and at one stage I thought he was going to cry. He told his supporters to respond with a religious chant hailing Ahmadinejad, but he was so shaken he was actually chanting it himself.”

Supposedly someone winged a shoe at him at one point.

Public enemy number one? This guy.

fascist.jpg

The 21-year-old student holding the “fascist president” banner was among those threatened with expulsion. He is said to be in grave danger after foreign news outlets, including the Guardian, published a picture of his gesture. Friends say he went into hiding after being confronted by two vigilantes.

“They said they would pull his father out of the grave [an ancient Persian threat],” said one student. “He is in real danger. Vigilantes have been standing at the dormitory doors asking for him.”

Ahmadinejad told the audience at the time that they wouldn’t be harmed for speaking out. They might be expelled, though; a star-based rating system is used to purge the country’s universities of their most ideologically “threatening” students. Quote: “The star system has, however, become a badge of honour among those who have acquired them on their records. Students have likened it to the German Nazi-era practice of making Jews wear the Star of David…”

Has the backlash officially begun?

Update: Well, it could be worse. They could be Christians.