College Paper Asking Student to Explain Why the Taliban Aren't Terrorists Goes Viral

A photo posted on Instagram showing a screenshot of a Pennsylvania State University short paper assignment entitled "Explain why the Taliban are not terrorists", has gone viral.

Ryan Fournier, founder of Students4Trump, posted the photo on his Instagram account on Thursday. Students4Trump is a youth organisation whose mission it is to re-elect former president Donald Trump.

As of Friday morning, the post had received 15,453 likes and 1,217 comments on the post.

The post includes a screen shot of the internal Penn State University assignment portal for students.

It shows a short paper assignment, which says: "In one page, explain why the Taliban are not a terrorist organisation."

"You are not allowed to answer this question in any other way," the assigning academic continues. "Any attempt to avoid the answering this prompt as written; or trying to argue otherwise will result in a failing grade. If you have any questions on the pedagogy behind this assignment—please contact me.

"Remember to try and use the readings and definitions from this lesson to support your paper, not your feelings on this issue."

Students were given a maximum of 500 words to complete the assignment.

Fournier, who studied at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, wrote in the post: "This student at Penn State was assigned a short paper topic "Explain why the Taliban are NOT Terrorists."

"This is what these woke college professors are teaching their students. Pure nonsense and fantasies. Unacceptable!"

In a statement to Newsweek, the university said it did not align with "such violent groups whose values are so disparate from ours."

"This class, which is part of the political science major and can be used for the homeland security minor, was developed to understand and analyze world views," a spokesperson said.

"As the course professor has shared himself, the Taliban is 'a horrible and vicious group that have committed atrocities,' and 'the purpose of the assignment was to get students to think about their perceptions and biases about the Taliban from the opposite slant.'

"Class assignments are designed to investigate issues from many angles and ideologies and if a student has a concern, we typically encourage the student to speak with their instructor or with their adviser as a first step.

The controversial assignment received flak from other conservatives.

Bo Hines, a pro-Trump Republican running for Congress in North Carolina, wrote on Instagram the assignment "leftist insanity."

Penn State University Taliban assignment
A controversial screen shot of an assignment set at the Pennsylvania State University asking the student to explain why the Taliban are not a terrorist organisation. Penn State University