COLUMBUS, Ohio – Abdul Artan, the Ohio State student who attempted to murder his classmates this week, was learning about the subtleties of “microaggressions” for a class titled “Crossing Identity Boundaries.”
In fact, he had a group project on “microaggressions” due later this week. The assignment, worth 15 percent of his grade, required students to find a dozen examples of microaggressions on social media and explain which identity groups were the victims, according to the syllabus.
The purpose of the class is to promote “intercultural leadership” and transform students into “actively engaged, socially just global citizen/leaders.” It seems to go well beyond merely educating students, though—it actually requires them to become social justice activists.
One of the students in Artan’s group for the class posted a screenshot confirming his participation in the “microaggression group assignments.”
Ohio State University Police Officer Alan Horujko shot Artan dead after the student repeatedly refused orders to stop his rampage Monday that left 11 people injured, three of which remain hospitalized, CNN reports.
Police contend Artan rammed his vehicle into a crowd of people before slicing several with a butcher’s knife, which he brought along for the occasion. Police report many students were outside during the incident, which occurred shortly after a fire alarm forced an evacuation.
“So everyone was checking to make sure that the people who were hit were OK,” student Logan Chapman told CNN’s “New Day.” “As soon as everything had settled down, he got out of the car and started slashing people closest to the car with the knife.”
Artan fled from Somalia to Pakistan with his family in 2007, then moved to the United States as legal residents in 2014.
According to CNN:
In a Facebook post shortly before the rampage, the Somali immigrant said he was “sick and tired” of seeing fellow Muslims “killed and tortured,” according to federal law enforcement officials.
He urged America “to stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah,” a term for Muslim people at large.
“By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims,” he wrote. “You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday.”
Artan said reports of human rights abuses in Myanmar pushed him to a “boiling point.” The United States, which suspended its last sanctions against the former military dictatorship this year, said it had expressed concerns about the treatment of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims.
“I can’t take it anymore,” he said in the post.
ISIS has claimed it inspired Artan to take action.
The course syllabus for Artan’s Crossing Identity Boundaries class states the microaggressions project is designed to help students “recognize the role of social diversity” and “demonstrate an appreciation for other points of view and cultures.”