Wheaton College Professor Suspended After Remarks on Islam And Christian Solidarity

by Raheem Karim
Wheaton College

Wheaton College professor Dr. Larycia Hawkins has been placed on administrative leave over her recent statements about the relationship between Christianity and Islam.

The college, an evangelical Christian liberal arts institution in Wheaton, Ill., said in a statement on Tuesday that Dr. Larycia Hawkins, an associate professor of political science, put on a head scarf said “Muslims and Christians worship same God”.

The college her on placed on administrative leave over “significant questions regarding the theological implications” of her statements.

“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, Dr. Philip G. Ryken, emphasized in a statement on Wednesday that it was Dr. Hawkins’ words, not her appearance in a scarf, that was 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.”

The college and Dr. Hawkins could not immediately be reached for comment. But the disciplinary move appeared to be in response to statements she made on Facebook this month that touched on the monotheistic similarities between the religions.

The college said that, as a tenured faculty member, she was entitled to a full review over her leave status. It gave no other details on the length of her leave, its affect on her compensation, or whether she was barred from classes or from the campus.

Dozens of students at Illinois evangelical school Wheaton College held a sit-in on Wednesday and asked its administration to reinstate and apologise to a political science professor who was suspended for saying Muslims and Christians worship the same God.

Student body President Josh Fort and other student leaders were meeting with college President Philip Ryken on Wednesday afternoon to deliver a letter regarding the suspension of Dr. Larycia Hawkins, the editor of the Wheaton Record student newspaper, Kirkland An, told Reuters.

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