*Apparently the notion of Christians and Muslims worshipping the same God doesn’t register with some people. So much so that a professor at Wheaton College in Illinois has been suspended.
Reuters reports the suspension came after Dr. Larycia Hawkins, an associate professor of political science, mentioned on social media on Dec. 10 that as a sign of solidarity with Muslims she was wearing the hijab headscarf during the period of advent before Christmas
“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” Hawkins wrote on her Facebook page while stating, “we worship the same God.”
From there, the critics surfaced, which prompted Wheaton to put Hawkins on administrative leave.
“In response to significant questions regarding the theological implications of statements that Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Larycia Hawkins has made about the relationship of Christianity to Islam, Wheaton College has placed her on administrative leave, pending the full review to which she is entitled as a tenured faculty member,” the school said in a statement, issued on Tuesday (Dec. 15).
Prior to revealing her intent to wear the headscarf, Hawkins consulted with the local chapter of the advocacy group known as Council on American Islamic Relations to make sure her wearing the piece of clothing would not be seen as offensive, in light of her being a non-Muslim woman.
As for how long Hawkins’ suspension would last, an immediate response to Reuters was not found with Wheaton College spokeswoman LaTonya Taylor, according to the news outlet, which acknowledged that no immediate response was given for who would conduct the review as well as how unusual the suspension was.
Although Wheaton was silent on the matter, the college did say that faculty and staff must faithfully represent Wheaton’s evangelical statement of faith when participating in causes.
Responding to the criticism about her saying Muslims and Christians worship the same God, Hawkins took to her Facebook page to say that convincing arguments exist for expressing religious solidarity with Muslims and Jews. She went on to request that those who don’t agree with her accept her love and offering of peace.
Hawkins’ suspension comes as growing Islamophobia and worries of a backlash against Muslims are being reported by Muslims after a married couple who pledged allegiance to ISIS shot and killed 14 people in California in earlier this month.