College Professor Wears Hijab…Gets Suspended at Wheaton College

16 Dec

You hear a lot from evangelical Christians about being persecuted. Folks trying to destroy Christmas, or other “christian traditions” in America…

So why is it everywhere you look it is the so called christians doing the persecuting?

Professor Larycia Hawkins of Wheaton College wore a hijab to show her solidarity in faith with Muslims


Wheaton College students back suspended professor wearing hijab

A tenured Wheaton College professor who, as part of her Christian Advent devotion, donned a traditional headscarf to show solidarity with Muslims has been placed on administrative leave, sparking protests on the west suburban campus Wednesday.

Larycia Hawkins, a political science professor at the private evangelical Christian college, announced last week that she would wear the veil to show support for Muslims who have been under greater scrutiny since mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.

“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” she posted on Facebook. “And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

But it was that explanation of her gesture that concerned some evangelical Christians, who read her statement as a conflation of Christian and Muslim theology.

“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,” Wheaton College said in a statement.

But on Wednesday, students in the grip of finals, filtered into the lobby of the college’s administration building to deliver a letter to President Philip Ryken and Provost Stan Jones demanding Hawkins’ reinstatement.

Wyatt Harms said supporting Hawkins, who is “unparalleled in her academics,” was a more urgent priority than studying.

“Dr. Hawkins is an essential part of the community here,” said Harms, a political science major who has taken several of Hawkins’ classes. “She’s a refuge for so many students on campus.”

Students discussed a social media campaign to support Hawkins, #ReinstateDocHawk, through which students and alumni could share their personal stories of Hawkins’ teaching or mentorship. They also mentioned an online petition that’s gathered nearly 900 signatures.

“Dr. Hawkins has and continues to be an invaluable resource to the students of Wheaton College, particularly to those of color,” the letter said. “She is known for her sharp intelligence, her challenging intellect, and her ability to encourage those around her to live an incarnational faith.”

“We believe there is nothing in Dr. Hawkins’ public statements that goes against the belief in the power and nature of God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit that the Statement of Faith deems as a necessary requirement for affiliation with Wheaton College,” the letter continued.

Clara Kent, who graduated in 2014 with a major in anthropology, relied on Hawkins as a mentor and academic adviser during her college career.

“She’s an example of love, compassion and justice,” Kent said.

Hawkins, 43, of Oak Park, planned to wear the hijab everywhere she went until Christmas, including on her flight home to Oklahoma, where voters in 2010 overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment banning Shariah, or Islamic law.

“In a time of real vitriolic rhetoric, by fellow Christians sometimes, and people who aren’t Christian who conflate all Muslims with terrorists — and that saddens me — this is a way of saying if all women wear the hijab we cannot discriminate,” she said in a Tribune interview. “If all women were in solidarity, who is the real Muslim? How is TSA going to decide who they really suspect?”

While Hawkins did not need to seek approval from Wheaton College, she did seek advice from the Council on American Islamic Relations, to make sure she did not offend Muslims.

Renner Larson, communications director for CAIR’s Chicago chapter, said he was intrigued by her idea when she approached him.

“There’s a lot of misconception about why women wear hijab and this idea that women are forced to wear it,” said Larson, who is not Muslim. “For a lot of people it’s a very powerful choice, especially in the United States it can be a hard, uncomfortable choice. So often women wearing hijab are the targets of attack and hatred because more than anyone else they are so immediately recognizable as Muslim.”

Wheaton administrators did not denounce Hawkins’ gesture but said as a professor at the premiere evangelical Christian college, her explanation should have been clearer.

“Wheaton College faculty and staff make a commitment to accept and model our institution’s faith foundations with integrity, compassion and theological clarity,” the college said in a statement. “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.”

Denny Burk, a professor of biblical studies at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said his greatest concern about Hawkins’ explanation was the lack of clarity about the particulars of Christianity. Without further explaining the nuances of her argument, she implicitly denied Christian teachings, he said.

“We’re people of the book, but our books are very different,” he said. “They’re witnessing to two different ways of salvation. The Bible is witnessing to Jesus Christ the son of God. That’s unique of all the world religions, and that uniqueness was what I thought was missing from what she said.”

But Miroslav Volf, a theology professor at Yale Divinity School and founding director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, praised Hawkins’ gesture as extraordinary and an apt Advent devotion.

“This is not so much about theology as it is about orthodoxy,” said Volf, who recently wrote “Flourishing,” a book about the importance of religions taking up common causes. “She has not denied any of the Christian claims that God was the holy trinity, that God was incarnate in Jesus Christ and Christ is the savior of the world who died on the cross. She has not denied any of these claims. I think in the Wheaton constituency there’s strong enmity toward Islam.”

Last week, a coalition of student leaders at Wheaton drafted an open letter calling on evangelical Christian leaders to condemn recent remarks by Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. that students armed with guns can “end those Muslims.”

Gene Green, a professor of the New Testament at Wheaton, said what motivated Hawkins is the same concern many faculty members at the school share about the unfair scrutiny facing the Muslim community.

“Dr. Hawkins and others want to follow the example of Jesus, who went to those who were discriminated against,” he said. “He ate with people whom others rejected. Jesus calls us to love our neighbors, and the Muslims are our neighbors.”


Posted by on December 16, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life


Tags: , , , , , ,

14 responses to “College Professor Wears Hijab…Gets Suspended at Wheaton College

  1. roderick2012

    December 16, 2015 at 8:16 PM

    Sometimes you have to pick your battles more wisely.

    I wish her luck on her job search.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ken

    December 17, 2015 at 6:55 PM

    “So why is it everywhere you look it is the so called christians doing the persecuting?”

    This is a Wheaton College professor at a Evangelical Bible believing Christian school teaching students Christian Theology according to the Bible. For a professor to say:

    “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” she posted Dec. 10 on Facebook. “And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

    What really does that mean? How does that square with John 1? In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us? or Hebrews, 1: The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

    So if the Christians believe Jesus is God and his character being displayed through the Christ, how is that going to square with the Muslims and Christians worship the same God? Do you think the other side of this, a Muslim school teacher could say this and not be challenged that she is out of the doctrine and faith? Muslims in no way shape or form accept that Jesus is God and therefore reject the Christian perception of God as illustrated by the character of Christ. So Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God. That’s where her problem with the Evangelical school is.


    • btx3

      December 17, 2015 at 7:28 PM

      Both religions have as a basis The Old Testament – so they both believe in the God of Abraham and Moses. Most Muslims today believe that the religion of Abraham (which now split into Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are of one source, which is The Almighty God. Neither Muslims or Jews accept the Trinity, which is a New Testament invention.

      According to the Quran, Jesus, although appearing to have been crucified, was not killed by crucifixion or by any other means. This view disagrees with the foundation of the Gospel. Instead, the Quran says “God raised him unto Himself,” which happens to agree with the Gospel message of Isa (Jesus) ascending into heaven. The belief that Jesus is a prophet is required in Islam. This is reflected in the fact that he is clearly a significant figure in the Quran, appearing in 93 ayaat (or verses) with various titles attached, with Moses appearing 136 times and Abraham 69 times.

      Surah 4:157-158 states: “That they said (in boast), ‘We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah’—but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not—nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself.”

      Surah 3:54 states: “When Allah said: ‘O Jesus, I will cause thee to die and exalt thee in My presence and clear thee of those who disbelieve…” In so many ways that seems to corroborate with Philippians 2:8-10 which states: “And being found in appearance as a man, He [Jesus] humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth…”


      • ken

        December 17, 2015 at 8:28 PM

        Right, the belief that Jesus is a prophet is required by Islam, and the belief that Jesus is God is required by Christians. Which does make the God they worship different. Take for instance your Ephesians verses you use from Chapter 2, may corroborate in many ways, but the most important part of that text happens a couple of verses earlier in verses 5-7 just before what you quoted:
        “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”

        Or Colossians 1: He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

        He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

        So its clear there is no way you are going to tell a Muslim if I worship Jesus, I am worshiping the the same God you do. And there is no way an Evangelical professor teaching future Evangelical can consider themselves in the faith explaining that if you worship Allah its the same as worshiping Jesus. So therefore my point is there wasn’t persecution here but instead someone who shouldn’t be in that position with a doctrine like that.


      • btx3

        December 17, 2015 at 11:54 PM

        I think your first problem is you are worshiping Jesus…

        Instead of God.


      • ken

        December 17, 2015 at 8:29 PM

        The trinity by the way, is not a New Testament invention, as it is not mentioned in the New Testament, but an attempt to better understand the Godhead.


  3. ken

    December 18, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    The Christian believes Jesus is God, who else is being talked about in Isaiah 9:
    For unto us a Child is born,
    Unto us a Son is given;
    And the government will be upon His shoulder.
    And His name will be called
    Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    Of the increase of His government and peace
    There will be no end,
    Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
    To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
    From that time forward, even forever.
    The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

    Jesus is called the Savior yet in Isaiah 10 it says:
    “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord,
    “And My servant whom I have chosen,
    That you may know and believe Me,
    And understand that I am He.
    Before Me there was no God formed,
    Nor shall there be after Me.
    I, even I, am the Lord,
    And besides Me there is no savior.

    And really how can the Muslims call Jesus a prophet of their faith when he clearly according to everyone present who he is preaching to, set himself as equal to God.

    John 5:
    Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

    Certainly a prophet of Islam wouldn’t talk like that. Jesus judges, raises the dead, gives life to whoever he wishes and is the Judge of all and says if you don’t honor Him just like God, you aren’t honoring God. So clearly the Muslims shouldn’t have a blasphemer like this as a prophet in their religion, and Christians are not worshiping the same God as Muslims. Which again is why the professor at Wheaton has been suspended.

    Jesus is God according to the Book.


    • btx3

      December 18, 2015 at 10:24 AM

      Jesus is part of God. Even Christian theology recognizes that.

      There is relationship in the trinity – the Son (Jesus) is obedient to the Father (Luke 22:42); the Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son (John 16:15ff).

      So the three persons of the trinity are the same God, but they are each distinct. They have different roles, but each action any member of the trinity might do is God’s action, regardless of who did it.

      * We see this distinction / unity when Jesus identifies himself with the Father, saying that he and the Father ‘are one’ (John 10:38, 17:11,21), and that he is in the Father and vice versa (John 14:11). Jesus does not say that he IS the Father, or that he and the Father are the SAME, but that they are ONE. So they are distinct, yet unified.
      * Because Jesus and the Father are both one and distinct, we can say that God ‘sent his son into the world’ – (John 3:16), and also that Jesus came into the world (1 Tim 1:15) – we are speaking about essentially the same action on the part of God, but on the one hand, God the Father sends, on the other, God the Son comes.
      *We also see the distinction / unity at work when Jesus speaks about sending the Holy Spirit in John 16 – he describes this as both he and the Father coming. So the three persons of the trinity are distinct, but they are all God – they all share the same motivations and objectives. They are all co-eternal, they are all perfect.

      Because Jesus says, “Whatever you ask the Father in my name, I will give it to you.”

      That’s the pattern that Jesus seemed to set up: “My Father is the great giver. I am the mediator between you and my Father. I have died to pay for all the answers to prayer that you will ever get.”


      • ken

        December 18, 2015 at 3:49 PM

        We are moving on now from the idea that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, right? Certainly, Muslims would not teach to give Christ the same honor as you give God the Father. Nor would they give into concepts taught by Christ, if you know me you know the Father. So it appears by your last post you are ready to accept that.

        I certainly do get the Trinity and explanation as to how to understand God. And as far as wrapping our minds around it, it really isn’t possible. And your concept of the Trinity is exactly what is taught, and I certainly agree with what you said.

        We can certainly get into the weeds here, for instance consider John 6:46, if no man has seen the Father only the one who is from God, then I suspect Adam saw Jesus, or Moses also saw Jesus. That’s how Christ can say before Abraham “I AM” in John 8:58, clearly the Jews understood this to be blasphemy (if he wasn’t God), that’s why they picked up stones to stone him.

        I myself am not a fan of the explanation of formed from the concepts of the Trinity, I see it useful, but I see the Bible say God is Spirit, which to me makes a verse in Revelation more illustrative of the Identity of God. Revelation 21:23: “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it; for the glory of God gave it light, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

        I suspect Christ glorified is what was happening in the Exodus 33 when Moses asked to see the Lord’s glory: “19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

        But just earlier in the chapter 33 it says in verse 11: “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.”

        Likely the transfiguration is a similar event in Matthew 17: Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.


      • btx3

        December 18, 2015 at 4:35 PM

        We are moving on now from the idea that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, right? Certainly, Muslims would not teach to give Christ the same honor as you give God the Father. Nor would they give into concepts taught by Christ, if you know me you know the Father. So it appears by your last post you are ready to accept that.

        No. And while Muslim faith certainly supports the existence of Jesus, and the need to abide by his teachings…

        They don’t see him as anything other than another of God’s Prophets. The very same God as that of Mohammed.


  4. ken

    December 19, 2015 at 1:58 AM

    Yes, which can only mean Muslims reject the exact representation of God’s being as taught by Christ in his teachings. They believe God to be something different than Christians. Christians believe Christ created the earth, Muslims don’t. Christians worship the Creator of all things, Christ. Muslims believe a different God created the earth and worship that God called Allah.


  5. ken

    December 19, 2015 at 8:19 PM

    “Uhhhhh…Ken. Jesus “created the earth”?

    That is not Christianity, at least to my view.

    The link you supplied, ends up concluding that Jesus created the earth the very end of the article, it says: “The reality is that John 1:1–3 clearly reveals the deity of Jesus Christ, the Word, being the Creator God. As such it confirms many other passages in Scripture that teach that Christ is God. Early church fathers such as Ignatius, who was a disciple of John the Apostle, also recognized Jesus as God. The significance of this is a matter of salvation. Without the true Jesus, can one really be saved?

    I think that is what I am trying to say. Did you have a different point you were arguing with this link other than what the Christian article concludes that Jesus Christ is the Creator God?


    • btx3

      December 20, 2015 at 12:58 AM

      The article was discussing that theological differences in interpretations that Jesus was a second God, a construct of God, or an adjunct designed to be able to take form and communicate with humans.

      Which was a polite way of not saying why your argument is irrelevant to me.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: