Do Muslims and Christians worship the same god? College suspends professor who …

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Christian College Suspends Hijab-Wearing Professor.

CHICAGO (AP) — A professor at a suburban Chicago Christian college who has been placed on administrative leave after donning a headscarf to demonstrate solidarity with Muslims said Wednesday that her actions are demonstrations of her own faith. Larycia Hawkins, who is a Christian and an associate professor of political science at Wheaton College, a private evangelical school west of Chicago, was put on leave Tuesday. It wasn’t clear how long Hawkins was suspended for, but some of the student leaders who had been involved in talks with administrators said it was through the spring semester. In recent days, she began wearing a hijab, the headscarf worn by some Muslim women, to counter what she called the “vitriolic” rhetoric against Muslims in recent weeks. “In the spirit of Advent, my actions were motivated by a desire to live out my faith.

The school also said it “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,” and that Hawkins was placed on leave “in response to significant questions regarding the theological implications” of her statements. She didn’t state why in her piece and did not return requests for comment to The Washington Post, but this fall has seen anti-Islam rhetoric rise sharply in the public square, including by GOP presidential candidates. Hawkins didn’t ask the college’s permission to wear the hijab, but she did consult the Council on American Islamic Relations so as not to offend the Muslim community, the Chicago Tribune reports. “As I tell my students, theoretical solidarity is not solidarity at all,” Hawkins wrote in her Facebook post. “My solidarity has become embodied solidarity.” Wheaton College associate professor Larycia Hawkins, center, is greeted with applause from supporters as she begins her remarks during a news conference Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, in Chicago.

But I think that Muslims and Christians who embrace the normative traditions of their faith refer to the same object, to the same Being, when they pray, when they worship, when they talk about God. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.’ Hawkins also called on other women to join her ’embodied solidarity’ campaign, with three of her friends responding with pictures of themselves also wearing hijabs. The description of God is partly different.” The letter quotes a coalition of concerned students and alumni. “We believe that there is nothing in Larycia Hawkins’ public statements that goes against the belief in the power of God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit that the Statement of Faith deems as a necessary component to Wheaton’s affiliation,” it reads.

However, in another post this evening, she revealed that her stance had also been challenged ‘exclusively from other Christians’ who took issue with her assertion that the Muslim God and Christian God are one and the same. Hitting back at critics, she added that ‘church fathers, saints, and regular Christian folk alike’ throughout the ages have believed that the two deities are the same, just differently understood.

Examples include Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, a Christian scholar and close friend of Pope Pius II who lived in the 15th century and ‘unambiguously affirmed’ that point, according to Christian author Miroslav Volf. Speaking again to her critics, Hawkins adds: ‘My wearing of the hijab as an act of advent devotion has certainly caused some to question the sincerity of my devotion. ‘To those who question the authenticity of my faith, I love you. She said Hawkins “has been a place of solace and solidarity” particularly for marginalized people, and is a support for black students like Kaleebu. “I think she meant Islam and Christianity and Judaism all derive from a history and are all monotheistic, we come from the same Abrahamic history. Why are we comfortable with Catholics and Jews but remain quiet when Muslims are persecuted?” said Kaleebu, 19, who grew up in Uganda but now lives in the D.C. region. “I think people are saying she’s saying the religions are fundamentally the same but that’s not necessarily true.

Being at peace with everyone means embracing you virtually and asking for forgiveness of those I have offended. ‘It doesn’t matter that I did not intend to do so. Muslims don’t believe Jesus is the son of God.” A Wheaton staff member who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the suspension “sets a precedent for what professors can post on their Facebook page. Hawkins is being used as a scapegoat, that will send a message to those of us who are employed full time.” The suspension took place less than a week after Wheaton College student leaders published an open letter in their student newspaper denouncing recent controversial comments by Liberty University President Jerry Falwell.

Speaking to thousands of students about terrorism, Falwell urged them to arm themselves, saying it would “end … those Muslims.” He later said he meant only violent radicals. The Wheaton administration later issued a statement praising that open letter, saying school leaders agree with students’ effort to “address our nation’s challenges through respecting the dignity of all people, rejecting religious discrimination, and pursuing the peace that triumphs over hostility.”

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