A professor at a prominent Christian university in Illinois posted photos of herself wearing an Islamic hijab this past week, stating that she was doing so to show solidarity with Muslims.
Larycia Hawkins is an associate political science director at Wheaton College, one of the most renown Christian schools in the world. On Thursday, she posted two photos of herself wearing a hijab, and stated in a lengthy explanation that she plans to wear it everywhere she goes during the Advent—including at the Christian college and to church.
“I stand in human solidarity with my Muslim neighbor because we are formed of the same primordial clay, descendants of the same cradle of humankind—a cave in Sterkfontein, South Africa that I had the privilege to descend into to plumb the depths of our common humanity in 2014,” Hawkins wrote.
She said that not only does she have a common ancestry with Muslims, but that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” Hawkins asserted. “And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”
“But as I tell my students, theoretical solidarity is not solidarity at all. Thus, beginning tonight, my solidarity has become embodied solidarity,” she continued.
Hawkins said that wearing the hijab is part of her Christmas worship, and that she is seeking to combat what she perceives to be “Islamophobia” in society.
“As part of my Advent worship, I will wear the hijab to work at Wheaton College, to play in Chi-town, in the airport and on the airplane to my home state that initiated one of the first anti-Sharia laws (read: unconstitutional and Islamophobic), and at church,” she wrote.
The professor said that her wish for the season would be to see a “large-scale movement” of women wearing hijabs in solidarity with Muslims, noting that she even obtained approval from the Council on American-Islamic relations.
“I invite all women into the narrative that is embodied, hijab-wearing solidarity with our Muslim sisters—for whatever reason,” she stated.
Friends and followers of Hawkins’ Facebook page praised the professor, with some posting photos of themselves wearing a hijab to show that they had joined her movement.
“I too am a devout Christian that embraces my Muslim brothers and sisters as people of the book that worship the same God,” wrote Cynthia Petterson. “Emodied solidarity, I love it! You are amazing Larycia.”
“Thank you for walking this path before us and inviting us to follow. You are a picture of the faith I know and trust,” Paulann Canty stated.
But when reports of Hawkins gesture expanded beyond her Facebook page, others expressed deep concern.
“Wheaton College needs to sit down and have a talk with this ‘lady’ and tell her that the god of Islam was a pagan god, a moon god and is not the same God JEHOVAH that we worship, and that Islam is NOT that peaceful religion that she believes it is,” wrote one commenter. “If she is this naive as a teacher, God help her.”
“She is trying to serve two masters. As Scripture says, we cannot serve two masters because we will love one and hate the other or love the other and hate the one,” another stated. “God is a jealous God and will not share His glory with demons and pagans. I am sad that she is wrongly influencing young people seeking to serve Christ.”