A professor at Iowa State University asked his students to write an account of the 9/11 terrorist attacks from the perspective of al-Qaeda, according to a report from The College Fix.
Professor James Strohman, who teaches International Relations, asked students to write a 500-word essay giving a “historical account of 9/11 from the perspective of the terrorist network. In other words, how might Al-Qaeda or a non-Western historian describe what happened.”
“Don’t worry about the fact you don’t agree with the terrorists, the point of the exercise is to consider completely different perspectives,” the assignment continues.
People soon reacted angrily to the assignment on Twitter, describing it as “sick” and “shameful.” However, ISU’s communications officer told The College Fix that the exercise was “no way an attempt to diminish the tragic events of September 11, 2001, nor was it designed to support the goals of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.”
The spokesperson added that the exercise was similar to work done by intelligence agencies such as the CIA, allowing students to approach topics through a “different lens.”
The attacks — which took place September 11, 2001, and killed 2,996 people while injuring over 6,000 — remain the largest terrorist attack in American history.
Professor Strohman, who is a registered Democrat, has taught at the university for over 10 years and has “written extensively on American government and politics. He is also a member of the Iowa Employment Appeal Board.”