Thu. Mar 30th, 2023


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University teacher fired after bizarre incest exam question caused outrage

3 min read

A university professor has been given the sack after asking students to answer an essay question about incest.

Professor Khair ul Bashar was fired and blacklisted from COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) in Pakistan after setting the risqué question in an English comprehension exam for his electrical engineering undergraduates, prompting an investigation.

In the bizarre exam, students were asked "what they thought" of a strange scenario, which read: "Julie and Mark are brother and sister. They are travelling together in France on summer vacation from college.

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"One night they are staying alone in a cabin near the beach. They decided that it would be interesting and fun if they tried making love. At the very least, it would be a new experience for each of them.

"Julie was already taking birth control pills, and Mark uses a condom too, just to be safe. They both enjoy making love, but they decide never to do it again. They keep that night as a special secret which makes them feel even closer to each other.

"What do you think about that? Was it OK for them to make love?" the question ended, asking students to provide "relevant examples" of their own knowledge as well as their opinion in a 300-word response made up of four paragraphs.

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An inquiry was launched into the strange exam, which was sat by Bachelor of Electrical Engineering students on December 4 and 5 2022.

Bashar was "terminated" on January 5 following the probe and blacklisted from teaching at COMSATS in the future.

"The Honourable Federal Minister for Science and Technology has taken serious notice and shows his great concerns and grievance about the contents of the quiz," a letter from a university official in the wake of the incident read.

"The content of the quiz is highly objectionable and totally against the curriculum laws of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and caused unrest amongst the families of the students."

But while Bashar may be suffering the consequences of his bizarre question, he isn't the first one to pose the question.

University of Virginia professor Jonathan Haidt first proposed the dilemma to a group of 30 participants as part of a study on moral judgments, hoping to determine whether they are based on “reason, or on intuition and emotion.”

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