By Nigel Boys
After Larycia Hawkins, an associate political science director at Wheaton College, Illinois, posted 2 pictures of herself on Facebook wearing an Islamic hijab last month and declared that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, she was placed on leave.
While the professor’s termination has not yet been made by school officials, after Hawkins declared that she would be wearing the hijab everywhere she went during the Christmas period, hundreds of alumni came forward in solidarity, threatening to withdraw future donations if the college does terminate her.
“Until full restoration and reconciliation are reached, each of us will prayerfully re-consider our commitment to financially support the mission of Wheaton College,” read a statement, which accompanied a petition to the College Board and administrators on Friday. The Chicago Tribune reported they were told by petition organizers that from seven decades of Wheaton graduates, it had garnered at least 800 signatures.
“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” Hawkins asserted last month. “And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God,” she added.
“Wheaton College faculty and staff make a commitment to accept and model our institution’s faith foundations with integrity, compassion, and theological clarity,” the Christian college said in a statement as they placed Hawkins on paid administrative leave. “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.”
Despite their assurances that a review would be conducted over the matter, university officials acknowledged towards the end of the month that because Hawkins stubbornly refused to budge from her “same God” statement, discussions had come to a standstill.
Hawkins was issued with a “Notice of Recommendation to Initiate Termination-for-Cause Proceedings,” after she allegedly refused to discuss the matter further with members of the administration.
While some openly supported Hawkins in her self-initiated fight against “Islamophobia,” others pointed out that her belief that Christians and Muslims worship the same God was drastically flawed.
“Muslims hold that ‘God is one.’ Allah has no partners and assigning partners to him is shirk, the highest blasphemy,” explained Thabiti Anyabwile in a blog post for the Gospel Coalition. “Christians believe ‘God is one in three Persons.’ Each Person in the Trinity is fully and eternally God. Yet there is one God,” added the pastor of Anacostia River Church in Washington, D.C.
While Christians worship Jesus, believing Him to be not only the Son of God, but God Himself, Muslims do not worship Christ at all, but consider Him to be a prophet who preceded Mohamed, but not on equal par.
“No one knows God who does not know the Son, who is the only mediator between God and man,” Anyabwile wrote. “The goal of Christianity is the salvation of sinners through the righteousness, substitutionary atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”