To: Phillip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College
Re-instate Christian professor who wore a headscarf to show solidarity with Muslim-Americans
Immediately re-instate Dr. Larycia Hawkins, a respected and tenured professor who spoke out in the classroom against bigotry.
Why is this important?
My entire life, I've stood alongside people of different faith and ethnic backgrounds in the fight for justice, because I know that solidarity is the only way we'll all win. That's why I was appalled to learn about a Christian professor's suspension from Wheaton College for speaking out in support of Muslims.
Dr. Larycia Hawkins is a political scientist who has taught at Wheaton College in Illinois since 2007. She wore a headscarf to class to show solidarity with Muslim-American women, who have faced increased hate crimes as Islamophobia has spiked this election season.
Shortly thereafter, she was placed on leave.
Dr. Hawkins had also posted on Facebook that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, which the college said failed to "faithfully represent the college's evangelical Statement of Faith."
The college is entitled to stand by its theology, but Dr. Hawkins' was showing us the best of character. Her action was rooted in a concern for the people around her--even people with different beliefs--and a concern for justice. These aren't principles to be suspended for.