Ohio State Assailant Enrolled in 'Microaggression' Course

Police cover the body of a suspect on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, Nov. 28, 2016 / AP
December 1, 2016

The attacker who drove his car into pedestrians at Ohio State University on Monday before emerging to stab others with a knife was at the time enrolled in a class concerning microaggressions committed against Muslims.

The course, called "Crossing Identity Boundaries," aimed to transform students into "actively engaged, socially just global citizens/leaders" and promoted "intercultural leadership," according to the syllabus obtained by Reason.

The perpetrator of the Ohio State attack, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was set to deliver a presentation on Friday worth 15 percent of the course grade that required students to detail a dozen instances of microaggressions perpetuated through social media and identify the victims.

The project was intended to teach students to "recognize the role of social diversity" and "demonstrate an appreciation for other points of view and cultures."

Authorities believe that Artan, a Somali immigrant, had self-radicalized prior to injuring 11 people in the car-and-knife attack. Artan had posted a message on Facebook saying that he was "sick and tired" of seeing fellow Muslims killed and was reaching a "boiling point."

Artan was shot dead by a police officer after failing to heed orders to drop his weapon. One day after the rampage, the Islamic State released a statement calling Artan a "soldier" of the terrorist group.