Target: Wheaton College President Philip Ryken
Goal: End suspension of professor who wore a hijab in solidarity with Muslim students and said that they and Christians worship the same god.
A professor was suspended after stating that she was going to wear a hijab in solidarity with her Muslim students and that Muslims and Christians worship the same god on a recent Facebook post. Wheaton College is an Evangelical Christian institution, but what Dr. Larycia Hawkins said was not inaccurate, and there’s nothing more Christian than supporting people who are being persecuted.
Dr. Hawkins was placed on administrative leave pending a “full review” of the incident. The student body president and other students delivered an open letter to the administration stating that: “We believe there is nothing in Dr. Hawkins’ public statement 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.”
This woman was simply trying to do what she could to protect innocent students from violent bigotry, which has been on the rise in the U.S. since attacks by the Islamic State on Paris and the recent mass shooting in California allegedly conducted by members of the terrorist group. She should be applauded for this, not suspended. Sign our petition to demand that Dr. Hawkins be immediately reinstated and given an apology.
Dear President Ryken,
Recently, Wheaton College made the bizarre decision to suspend a professor for posting on Facebook that she was wearing a hijab in solidarity with Muslim students and saying that Muslims and Christians worship the same god. If you know anything about the religion of Islam, which Dr. Larycia Hawkins clearly does, you’ll know that this is not inaccurate. If you know anything about Christianity, you’ll know that she was following Christian principles in supporting a persecuted population.
Few things are more Christian than reaching out to downtrodden peoples who are facing systemic violence and voicing your support for them, no matter who they are or what they believe. To say that her actions went against the school’s values is to say that the school’s values are not Christ-like.
Suspending Dr. Hawkins is unacceptable. Much of the student body has already voiced their support for her, saying that nothing she did or said went against the school’s commitment to god. By suspending her, you’re sending the message that supporting Muslim students is unacceptable and goes against the Christian religion, putting these students in even greater danger. Immediately reinstate Dr. Hawkins and apologize to her for this wrongful punishment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Anuradha Sengupta