A professor at a Christian college was suspended after vowing to wear a hijab during the Advent season to show solidarity with Muslims.
The tenured Wheaton College professor, Larycia Alaine Hawkins, said last week that she intended to wear the Muslim head covering in a post she made on Facebook, according to Christianity Today.
“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” she wrote Thursday. “And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”
The school was less than pleased.
“Wheaton College faculty and staff make a commitment to accept and model our institution’s faith foundations with integrity, compassion, and theological clarity,” it 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.”
Wheaton said she was not suspended for the fact that she wanted to wear the hijab but “in response to significant questions regarding the theological implications of statements that she made about the relationship of Christianity to Islam.”
“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,” school president Philip Ryken said. “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.”
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