Justice

The Bigoted Reason This Professor Was Suspended Is Absolutely Infuriating

After one professor at Wheaton College decided to show solidarity wth Muslims, she ended up on administrative leave for not correctly representing the school's values.

Related:Chicago Woman Gets Spit On For Being Muslim. Here's Her Response

In a Facebook post political science professor Larycia Hawkins expressed support of Muslims and detailed her plans to start wearing a hijab to Wheaton College as a way to show "human solidarity" with Muslims, but she never got that chance to do so. The university suspended her shortly after her post, concluding that parts of Hawkins message didn't coincide with the biblical teachings the very school is built on, the Chicago Tribune reports.

I don't love my Muslim neighbor because s/he is American.I love my Muslim neighbor because s/he deserves love by...

Posted by Larycia Alaine Hawkins on Thursday, December 10, 2015

"I stand in human solidarity with my Muslim neighbor," Hawkins said in a Facebook post. "Because we are formed of the same primordial clay, descendants of the same cradle of humankind—a cave in Sterkfontein, South Africa that I had the privilege to descend into to plumb the depths of our common humanity in 2014."

Prior to her decision to don a hijab in solidarity, Hawkins consulted the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Tribune reports.

Larycia Hawkins

Hawkins' post continued:

"I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God. But as I tell my students, theoretical solidarity is not solidarity at all. Thus, beginning tonight, my solidarity has become embodied solidarity. As part of my Advent Worship, I will wear the hijab to work at Wheaton College, to play in Chi-town, in the airport and on the airplane to my home state that initiated one of the first anti-Sharia laws (read: unconstitutional and Islamophobic), and at church."

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Wheaton College did not have a problem with Hawkins' desire to stand with Muslims, however the part about comparing Islam to Christianity didn't sit well with the private evangelical university, USA Today reports. A statement released by Wheaton College stated that Hawkins' message on Facebook does not coincide with the school's theology, something that the college takes very seriously.

"While Islam and Christianity are both monotheistic, we believe there are fundamental differences between the two faiths, including what they teach about God's revelation to humanity, the nature of God, the path to salvation and the life of prayer," part of the statement reads. "Wheaton College faculty and staff make a commitment to accept and model our institution's faith foundations with integrity, compassion and theological clarity. As they participate in various causes, it is essential that faculty and staff engage in and speak about public issues in ways that faithfully represent the college's evangelical Statement of Faith."

According to USA Today and the Tribune, Hawkins was inspired to take a stand with Muslims following Donald Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims entering the U.S. and because of the rise Islamophobic rhetoric among Christians and non-Christians. (Hawkins is also originally from Oklahoma, which passed an anti-Sharia law measure back in 2010; Hawkins references this "unconstitutional" measure in her Facebook post.)

Since her suspension students have rallied to her defense; the Tribune reports that students wrote a letter and started an online petition.

"Dr. Hawkins has and continues to be an invaluable resource to the students of Wheaton College, particularly to those of color," the later stated, according to the Tribune. "She is known for her sharp intelligence, her challenging intellect, and her ability to encourage those around her to live an incarnational faith."

The letter continued: "We believe there is nothing in Dr. Hawkins' public statements that goes against the belief in the power and nature of God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit that the Statement of Faith deems as a necessary requirement for affiliation with Wheaton College."

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