CHICAGO (Web Desk) – Wheaton College, a top-ranked academically rigorous Christian liberal arts college, has disciplined a professor who put on a head scarf in solidarity with Muslims and said they worship the “same God” as Christians.
According to NDTV, the private liberal arts college said in a statement that Larycia Hawkins, an associate professor of political science, had been placed on administrative leave over “significant questions regarding the theological implications” of recent remarks she made about the relationship between Christianity and Islam.
“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,” the statement said.
The college president, Philip G. Ryken, emphasized in a statement that Hawkins’ words, not her appearance in a scarf, were the issue. He said Wheaton had “no stated position on the wearing of head scarves as a gesture of care and concern for those in Muslim or other religious communities that may face discrimination or persecution.”
Last Thursday, Hawkins posted photographs of herself on Facebook in a Muslim head covering, which she vowed to wear at work, in airplanes and at social events during the weeks before Christmas in solidarity with Muslims facing religious discrimination.
“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” she wrote, in part. “And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”
The next day, Wheaton College said it had received inquiries about remarks on social media by unnamed faculty about the relationship between Christianity and Islam, and their “fundamental differences.”