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EXCLUSIVE: A Ferris State University professor assigned a paper to students asking them to explain “Why Osama bin Laden should be considered for a Nobel Peace Prize.”
Ferris State University history professor Barry Mehler has awarded the 2,000-word essay multiple times since 2014 to students in a class titled ‘The Middle East in the Modern Era,’ according to a public records request. obtained by Fox News Digital.
“Term Paper: Why Osama Bin Laden Should Be Considered for a Nobel Peace Prize,” reads a copy of the Spring Semester 2014 syllabus. “This is a 300-level history essay that must comply to certain standards. The paper should have a clear argument and use both primary and secondary sources, Chicago-style footnotes, and a bibliography with primary sources listed separately from secondary sources. Additional instructions and sample articles of students from previous years will be available on our class page.”
Mehler attributed the essay asking students to explain why Osama bin Laden should be considered for a Nobel Peace Prize “multiple times since 2014, according to the documents.
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The professor told Fox News Digital that he commissioned the newspaper to give students a view of history “from an unusual angle.”
“I often give assignments like this. The idea is to see history from an unusual angle. By the way, I had a student who was in an army reserve intelligence unit and he was coming to complete a job in defense of Saddam Hussein. The Intelligence Service wants its officers to be able to understand why Osama bin Laden might be considered a great hero rather than a great villain. You want the student to be able to get out of own comfort zone and explore how others see the world,” Mehler said. “As a lifelong Jew and human rights defender, I can assure you that I was not recruiting for al-Qaeda.”
In several courses taught by the professor, he also wrote in the syllabuses that the class ranking policy is based on “the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination, which posits that an individual’s fate is predetermined”.
Several syllabi of Mehler’s courses state that “your grade may be entirely based on class discussions”, stating that someone who fails “every exam” but contributes to class discussions in “exceptional and unusual ways” could be worth more than “poor performance on a multiple-choice exam.”
“On the other hand, you [sic] the grade may entirely depend on your exam grades, but it may not be because according to Dr. Mehler, your grades are really assigned to you before you enter the class, that is- say that your grades are predestined and there is nothing you can do will change your predestined grade. Some students walk through the door with an “A”. Some students walk through the door with an “F.” »
Several course syllabi taught by Mehler also indicate that a student in the class could receive the award “predestined for an A”, “given each semester to a student, chosen completely at random”.
Mehler did not respond to questions from Fox News Digital about his ratings policies.
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The professor was criticized in January for telling students in a video that “civilization is collapsing” and “life on your planet is disappearing”, before telling students that they are “vectors of disease”.
“You are just vectors of disease to me and I don’t want to be near you, so keep your distance. If you want to talk to me, come on my zoom,” Mehler said.
Mehler also told the students that he was beholden “to no human c–ksucker” and that he had a “paying job for a fuckin’ union.”
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“I stand before you today I’m not beholden to any human c-sucker and I have a paid union job and no soft dk of an administrator is going to tell me how to teach my classes because I’m a f — King full professor,” Mehler said.
He had a message for students who wanted to file a complaint with their dean: “Fuck you.”
“If you want to go complain to your dean, fuck off, go ahead, I’m retiring at the end of this year and I don’t give a fuck anymore,” Mehler said.
He later said that the speech he gave was adapted from an episode of HBO’s Deadwood and used it to address the issue of plagiarism.
A university spokesperson at the time condemned the language used by Mehler and said he was on administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation.
The professor filed a lawsuit against the university in late January, claiming it violated his First Amendment right, according to Mlive.com.
Mehler later told The Associated Press that he starred in the video when talking to the students.
“If a teacher comes in and he’s all powerful and he uses words he doesn’t understand, it doesn’t help him relax and think,” Mehler said.
Several lesson plans from Mehler’s classes, obtained by Fox News Digital, contain a “trigger warning,” which reads, “Dr. Mehler takes on many personalities, some of them racist and some of them sexist. As a result, Dr. Mehler uses profanity and what is usually unacceptable racial and sexual slurs. It is important for students to understand that Dr. Mehler never voices his “own” opinions in class. He is always a good performer and always presents the opinions of others.
“In discussing Jim Crow, the word ‘n’ is inevitable. In fact, it is essential that the student understand the power of words to define reality and since profanity was so much a part of the American frontier, mining camps, seaports and urban centers, a student who is easily offended should take another course or come and talk to me. Perhaps I can make some accommodations to individual sensitivities. That said, it is clear from student reactions to my methods at the over the years that some students just hate the way I teach. If you need clear instructions and a tidy presentation, this class is going to be very frustrating for you,” the program adds.
Ferris State University declined to comment when Fox News Digital asked for comment.