Christian College In Chicago Suspends Professor For Saying Muslims, Christians Worship One God


Dr. Larycia Hawkins, an associate professor of political science at Wheaton College, was placed on administrative leave for citing similarities between Christians, Muslims. Hawkins, who had been wearing a hijab as a gesture of what she calls embodied solidarity with Muslims, was suspended for suggesting that believers of Christianity and Islam do indeed follow the same God.

Hawkins drew attention on December 10 when she declared on Facebook that she stood 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“, and that as part of her Advent worship she would be wearing a 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”.

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

The next day, Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian school, said it had received inquiries about remarks on social media by unnamed faculty about the relationship between Christianity and Islam, and their “fundamental differences”. Excerpts:

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.

On December 14, she responded to her critics on Twitter and Facebook:

This morning, I partook of the Eucharist, the culmination of the Christian liturgy where Christians through the…

Posted by Larycia Alaine Hawkins on Sunday, December 13, 2015

In its response, on December 15, the college announced that it had placed Hawkins on administrative leave:

On December 15, 2015, Wheaton College placed Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Larycia Hawkins on paid administrative leave in order to give more time to explore theological implications of her recent public statements concerning Christianity and Islam.

As a Christian liberal arts institution, Wheaton College embodies a distinctive Protestant evangelical identity, represented in our Statement of Faith, which guides the leadership, faculty and students of Wheaton at the core of our institution’s identity. Upon entering into a contractual employment agreement, each of our faculty and staff members voluntarily commits to accept and model the Statement of Faith with integrity, compassion and theological clarity.

Contrary to some media reports, social media activity and subsequent public perception, Dr. Hawkins’ administrative leave resulted from theological statements that seemed inconsistent with Wheaton College’s doctrinal convictions, and is in no way related to her race, gender or commitment to wear a hijab during Advent.

A day later, Wheaton College President Dr. Philip Ryken emphasized:

The College has no stated position on the wearing of headscarves as a gesture of care and concern for those in Muslim or other religious communities that may face discrimination or persecution. We support the protection of all Americans including the right to the free exercise of religion, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

On December 22, came another announcement:

Contrary to Dr. Hawkins’ statements and numerous media reports, her paid administrative leave is not a “suspension,” nor is it punitive or disciplinary.  Rather, it is a period of time to investigate and address, without a pre-determined outcome, matters of significant concern regarding Dr. Hawkins’ views related to our Statement of Faith.

Wheaton College has approached the possibility of reconciliation with the same level of seriousness manifested by Dr. Hawkins. Extremely frank conversation and communication have taken place in recent days. The College’s perspective is that additional theological clarification is necessary before Dr. Hawkins may resume her full duties. Regrettably, Dr. Hawkins has clearly stated her unwillingness to further participate in clarifying conversations.

However, 43-year-old Hawkins, the first African-American woman to become tenured at the college and a political science professor with the evangelical college since 2007, has no plans to resign. Hawkins, who plans to wear the hijab indefinitely, told The Guardian:

“I have tenure. So I am insistent that my tenure should not be revoked. That’s a non-option as far as I’m concerned, because … I’ve committed no offense. It’s inexplicable to me why that’d be the best possible scenario … I have integrity. If I didn’t, I would leave. I’m a Christian – there’s nothing else to explain.”

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  1. I believe in God. My friend Fatih believes in God. My friend Hillel believes in God… IF there is one God then we all believe in the same God – just we each interpret Him with our own respective biases borne through how we were raised, taught… I am a Christian. Fatih a Muslim. Hillel a Jew. Are the fundamentalists saying that we each have our own separate Gods, and that – thus – there is more than one God? Or are they saying that WE are right in everything and everyone else is wrong? Like those who still claim that the Earth is flat

  2. I’m puzzled by this. Muslims and Christians ARE fundamentally worshipping the same god. It’s just that muslim reject concept of Jesus as god instead of a prophet. The christians should be offended if she agreed with muslims view is correct, but she didn’t

    Why would christians be offended by the hijab anyway? The bible endorsed women for covering their heads. its in the book of corinthians! Why they think nuns cover their heads? fashion??

  3. I am always amazed at how utterly stupid some Academics can be. When supposedly intelligent, educated people, some Christian and get upset with a statement even made by Pope Francis stated last week, “We worship the same God“ get their panties in a bunch over something like this. It is the very problem with religion. When you do not agree with their personal perceptions of what is religiously correct, they persecute.
    I can only say this – OH GROW UP !! PS = And to think they are educating our children.

  4. The truth is out there and it has always been,the only logic and fair explanation why different Religious beliefs do not agree that they “might” be worshipping only one the same God is because of possible political failure in each nation,politics are runned by businesses,so if we imagine that all religion will become one Bible ministry,what would happen to all the churches and temples that was built? How could they run and fund it? We all know about this but people are just scared or just plainly hypocrites. But the main point is… worshipping one God in public” will not gonna happen to work out no matter what. And to make this as an issue to media? Its just another article to talk about without any value of importance.


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