Christian college suspends professor for hijab protest

By Leo Hohmann

Wheaton College has suspended a female tenured professor who wore a hijab, or Islamic head covering, in an attempt to show “religious solidarity with Muslims” during the Christmas season.

As WND reported earlier this week, Larycia Hawkins, a political science professor at the private Christian college in Illinois, announced she would be wearing a hijab during Advent to show her solidarity with Muslims whom she believed were being unfairly scrutinized in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, France, and San Bernardino, California, which followed earlier attacks by Muslims this year that killed five men in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and 17 people at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris.

Wheaton College Professor Larycia Hawkins, a Christian, is wearing the hijab or Muslim head scarf "in religious solidarity with Muslims."
Wheaton College professor Larycia Hawkins, a Christian, is wearing the hijab or Muslim head scarf “in religious solidarity with Muslims”

“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,” Hawkins said in a Dec. 11 Facebook posting.

Hawkins, who has served seven years as a professor at Wheaton, further explained that she hopes she is not the only non-Muslim woman wearing a hijab this holiday season, as she desires to start a movement of women showing their solidarity for Muslims.

The college had immediately posted a statement on its website saying it did not share Hawkins’ theological sentiments and that it would be clarifying the college’s position with faculty and staff.

But on Wednesday Wheaton, an evangelical Christian college, announced it was taking the additional step of placing the professor on administrative leave, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Hawkins announced last week that she would wear the veil to show support for Muslims who have been under greater scrutiny since mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino.

When she tried to explain her gesture, she found herself in hot water with some evangelical Christians, who read her statement as an unbiblical comingling of Christian and Muslim theology.

“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,” Wheaton College said in a statement.

Some Wheaton professors offer support

But Hawkins was not without her supporters at Wheaton.

Gene Green, a professor of the New Testament at Wheaton, said what motivated Hawkins is the same concern many faculty members at the school share about the “unfair scrutiny” facing the Muslim community.

“Dr. Hawkins and others want to follow the example of Jesus, who went to those who were discriminated against,” he told the Tribune. “He ate with people whom others rejected. Jesus calls us to love our neighbors, and the Muslims are our neighbors.”

Hawkins said she would wear the hijab everywhere she went until Christmas, including on her flight home to Oklahoma, where voters in 2010 overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment banning Shariah, or Islamic law, the Tribune reported.

She said in a Tribune interview that it’s “a time of real vitriolic rhetoric by fellow Christians sometimes and people who aren’t Christian who conflate all Muslims with terrorist — and that saddens me — so this is a way of saying if all women wear the hijab we cannot discriminate. If all women were in solidarity, who is the real Muslim? How is TSA going to decide who they really suspect?”

Hawkins did not seek approval from her employer to make her statement, but she did seek counsel from the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, to make sure she did not offend Muslims.

CAIR is a terror-stained organization tied to the extremist Muslim Brotherhood. The organization was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007  Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas, Texas. This was the largest terror-financing trial ever conducted on U.S. soil and Muslim Brotherhood front groups such as CAIR, the Muslim Student Association and the Islamic Society of North America were all outed as players in the international terrorism conspiracy.

A sign of ‘servitude’?

Shahram Hadian, born and raised in a Muslim family in Iran before emigrating to Canada and then the U.S. as a converted Christian, said that in Muslim countries, non-Muslim women are forced to wear the hijab, not as a sign of respect but as a sign of servitude and submission to Islam.

“The hijab is a in integral part of not only the Muslim faith, but if you are a non-Muslim woman traveling in a fully Muslim country you are directed to wear a hijab, and that’s a sign of servitude to their law,” he said. “You are saying we acknowledge this is Islamic law and it’s a form of dhimmitude.

“But we in the West are doing it out of stupidity or willingly bowing to voluntary dhimmitude,” he continued. “They, the MSA, know exactly what they’re doing. Wheaton is a Christian College and should know better, so I say if that was not a mistake she needs to step down as a professor there.”

Hawkins said not only are Muslims her neighbors but they also “worship the same God.”

“She believes Allah and the Christian God are the same. That’s heading into the Chrislam movement, where they are coming out and saying it’s the same god when even in the Quran it says they are vehemently opposed to each other,” Hadian said.

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