Bloggers Expose Ahmadinejad - 2008.08.12
Roozonline- Mahboubeh Niknahad
While Ahmadinejad’s deputy in legal affairs has threatened to file charges against those who have exposed the forged nature of the new interior minister’s doctoral degree, several blogs and news websites pointed to numerous errors in Ali Kordan’s forged degree; such that, in a very short time, several obvious errors were unveiled on the World Wide Web regarding the forged degree.
Bloggers have exposed Ahmadinejad’’ interior minister’s false claims that he received an honorary doctoral degree from Oxford University, England’s oldest institution of higher education, while the website “Alef,” affiliated with the prominent Principalist lawmaker Ahmad Tavakkoli, again reiterated its claim regarding the forged nature of Ali Kordan’s degree by publishing correspondence with the “Oxford University Press and Information Office.”
According to the text of a letter published on the website and signed by the aforementioned office, Oxford University declared that there were no records of Mr. Ali Kordan receiving an honorary doctorate or any other degree from the university. Moreover, the university noted that none of the signatures appearing on the document belonged to any individuals working in the field of law, and none of them were authorized to sign degree certificates on behalf of Oxford University.
Previously, in response to a question raised on the Internet, the registrar of Oxford University had responded by noting, “[t]hank you for your questions regarding Mr. Ali Kordan. Oxford University issues honorary doctorates, but not to works submitted from other countries. Mr. Kordan has not received an honorary doctorate from Oxford University. We have no record of issuing an honorary doctorate to a person by the name of Ali Kordan."
Errors in Kordan’s Forged DegreeFollowing the ninth administration interior minister’s claim regarding his degree and the publication of the diploma’s text and image by media outlets, dozens of comments were published on news websites attesting to the degree's forged nature. Some of the errors discovered by bloggers regarding the claims by Ahmadinejad’s interior minister are as follows:
- A day before providing reporters with the image of Ali Kordan’s supposed diploma, the interior ministry’s public relations office identified an individual named Stephen Pringle, claimed to be the head of the Middle Eastern Studies department at the University of Oxford, to the issuer of the honorary doctorate for Ali Kordan. However, in the presented diploma, there is no mention of the Middle Eastern Studies Department or a person named Pringel; perhaps because, as Ahmad Tavakkoli insisted a day before, no person by that name exists at the Oxford University.
- According to Oxford University’s bylaws, which are accessible on the university’s website, from 1948 to present, the University has been issuing doctoral degrees under the title Doctor of Civil Law (DCL), and under the title Doctorate of Law prior to that. The title listed in Ali Kordan’s diploma, Doctor of Laws, is not used by the University.
- None of the titles listed below the names of the signatures on Kordan’s diploma, ie the president of the university’s council, the president of the examination center and director of post graduate studies exist at Oxford. Essentially there is no such position as Examination Center at Oxford (similar to what exists at Iran’s Azad University!). Assuming that the diploma is authentic, it must be signed by the Director of Graduate Studies, not the Director of Post Graduate Studies, as listed on the diploma.
- The university does not have a college named the College of Law. The name of the university's law school is the Faculty of Law, not the College of Law as listed on Ali Kordan’s diploma.
- The names of persons who received honorary doctorates from the Oxford University are listed on the university's website address, listed below. Most certainly, the name of Ali Kordan is not among them:
http://www.ox.ac.uk/gazette/1999-00/supps/1_4554.htm As listed on the above website, the only person who received a doctoral degree in “civil law” in June of 2000 was Ms. Helen Bamber, which is not similar to Ali Kordan at all.
- It is interesting to note that none of the three signatories to Ali Kordan's diploma are members of any sort, whether academic or not, of the university's experimental psychology department. One of the three signatories has previously presented an article at that department which is published by Rajanews as proof of Kordan diploma's authenticity.
- More interestingly, the topic of that article and the area of expertise of other signatories to Kordan's degree are in areas such as neurobiology and psychology, which are unlikely to be related to law.
- Individuals mentioned on Kordan's diploma have been present only at the experimental psychology department of Brookes University, which is overseen by Oxford University; however, none are considered academic members or serve as professors at the University. Furthermore, none has any connections to legal studies and it would be impossible for them to issue such a degree.
- Even in Iran, doctoral degree diplomas are not printed in a disorderly manner, with misaligned lines on a portrait format; usually, they are printed in landscape format in appealing fonts and aesthetic qualities.
- The logo that appears at the top of this diploma is different from the University of Oxford's official logo, which is visible on the university's website. Moreover, the diploma refers to the Department of Graduate Studies, whereas University of Oxford has Graduate Office.
- Comparing the logo used at the top of the diploma indicates that the logo is different from the one that appears on the Oxford University website. More particularly, it seems as if the surrounding belt is deleted, or cut!
- The text has the tone of a direct transliteration from Farsi to English, rather than the tone of a university that itself is an authority on English language and grammar.
- The diploma's text is written in upper case letters, whereas in official English language texts, upper case letters are reserved for headings or to start a sentence.
- Almost all of the text's commas appear in wrong places.
- English speakers do not sign above their names and titles, but rather below their names and titles, unlike Mr. Kordan's alleged diploma!
- Two of the three signatures that appear at the bottom of the diploma are very similar and seem to have been the work of one person.
- The word "honorary," which appears in the text, has the American-English spelling, rather than the British English spelling as "honourary."
- The spelling of the word "intitle" is incorrect. Apparently, the author meant to say "entitle!" Also, this word is indented to the right; but it must have been indented to the left.
- The spelling of the word "Benefitted" is incorrect. The word "Benefited" must have been used instead. Moreover, the word as used in the text is grammatically incorrect.
In addition, several other small and major mistakes appear in the text, showing the extent to which Ahmadinejad's interior minister's diploma is forged.
Coverage of the Issue on the InternetThe publication of the image of the interior minister's alleged diploma created a wave of comments on the World Wide Web. Perhaps discussing several of the comments could communicate the atmosphere of this discussion.
Former Majlis deputy Jamileh Kadivar wrote on her personal website, "[a]s we know, honorary doctoral degrees are usually given to individuals that have spearheaded giant leaps in scientific development, or such diplomas are presented to presidents. Mr. Kordan is neither an academic figure nor a first-rate manager; for what was he given this honorary doctorate? How is it possible for someone who is incapable of reading and understanding one page of a legal text in English to receive an honorary doctorate in law from University of Oxford… The interior minister is the public's custodian in elections. If he begins his work with lies and a false diploma, what will we do on election day?"
One University of Oxford graduate wrote, "The issue is much simpler than this. I myself am a graduate of University of Oxford. The simplest point is that the University of Oxford (and in England, Cambridge) has a different educational system, meaning that colleges, not the university as a whole, are the main foundation of the university. Essentially, the meaning of Faculty in Oxford is different than many other universities, and that matriculation and graduation are both undertaken by the college under the university's name. Essentially, the university cannot do anything without any of its colleges, meaning it cannot issue a diploma and write at the top, 'Oxford Colleges Office!'"
Another blogger published the text of Article 527 of the Islamic Penal Code, which notes, "Anyone who forges or utilizes - despite knowledge of documents being forged - educational records, graduation records or academic records from universities or other higher education or research institutes inside or outside the country or foreign educational certificates, in addition to payment of damages, shall be sentenced to one to three years imprisonment. In the case that the violator is an employee of a ministry of organization or institution affiliated with the government or municipality or Islamic Revolution institutions, or participates in any way in use or forging of such documents, the violator receives the maximum sentence."
Labels: Kordan- Fake diploma