US Professor to Leave School over Hijab Comments
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A professor at an evangelical university near Chicago who got in trouble after saying Muslims and Christians worship the same God will leave the school, according to a joint statement released by Wheaton College.
Larycia Hawkins, a tenured political science professor, had been scheduled for a disciplinary hearing in five days to determine whether she would be allowed to remain at Wheaton.
A joint statement Saturday night said Hawkins and the college had “found a mutual place of resolution and reconciliation” and that the two sides “will part ways” after reaching a confidential agreement, Reuters reported Monday.
The controversy began on Dec. 10, when Hawkins wrote on Facebook that she would don the hijab headscarf during the period of advent before Christmas as a sign of solidarity with Muslims.
“We worship the same God,” she said in her post.
The post drew criticism amid a broader debate regarding the role and treatment of Muslims in the United States following the November mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, which US authorities have said was inspired by the militant group Daesh (ISIL).
The college placed Hawkins on administrative leave as a result. Last month, the school’s provost recommended Hawkins be fired.
The school previously claimed Hawkins was disciplined not because she chose to wear a hijab but because her “theological statements seem inconsistent with Wheaton’s doctrinal convictions.”
Both sides struck a conciliatory tone in the statement, which also said neither Hawkins nor school officials would offer any further comment until a scheduled news conference Wednesday morning.
“I appreciate and have great respect for the Christian liberal arts and the ways that Wheaton College exudes that in its mission, programs, and in the caliber of its employees and students,” Hawkins said in the statement.
The college president, Phillip Ryken, said the school “sincerely appreciates Dr. Hawkins’ contributions to this institution over the last nine years.”
Many members of the faculty had expressed support for Hawkins.