Franklin Graham Responds to Hijab-Wearing Christian College Professor’s Claim That Muslims and Christians Worship the ‘Same God’

Evangelist Franklin Graham has weighed in on the ongoing controversy surrounding Dr. Larycia Hawkins, the political science professor who was suspended from Wheaton College, an evangelical institution in Illinois, after saying that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God.”

Graham, who said that he is “deeply concerned” over faculty recommendations that the case against the professor be dropped, also pushed back against Hawkins’ “same God” proclamation in a Facebook post published on Saturday.

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“Both my father Billy Graham and my mother attended Wheaton College in Illinois – in fact that’s where they met,” Graham wrote. “I’m surprised and disappointed that the faculty council there is now recommending the college drop their plans to terminate a professor who published that she believed Islam and Christianity worship the same God in December.”

The Christian leader, who is the president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, went on to explain exactly why he believes that Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God, calling Hawkins’ comments “no minor issue.”

“Islam denies that God has a Son. They deny that Jesus is God. They do not believe in a Triune God–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” Graham continued. “I can tell you – Islam and Christianity clearly do not worship the same God.”

He continued, “How the faculty council can now support this professor being allowed to teach students is deeply concerning.”

Graham’s comments came after Wheaton College’s Faculty Council, the liaison between the college administration and faculty, voted unanimously to urge leaders to halt any efforts to potentially fire Hawkins.

Wheaton College responded to the Faculty Council’s recommendation by noting that it is within the confines of the faculty handbook, but that the school is following “established protocol” in how it handles Hawkins’ case.

“The next step in this process is a hearing before the Faculty Personnel Committee. The Faculty Personnel Committee will receive presentations from the Provost and Dr. Hawkins regarding the substantive and procedural issues each would like to raise, will review the evidence presented, and will make a formal recommendation regarding the termination of tenure,” the statement read. “The Faculty Personnel Committee’s recommendation will then be taken into consideration by President Ryken, as he makes his recommendation to the Board of Trustees.”

As TheBlaze previously reported, Wheaton College placed Hawkins on administrative leave last month, as officials further investigated comments that she made about the “relationship of Christianity to Islam” following a public announcement that she would be wearing a hijab — a Muslim headscarf — throughout the advent season.

“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” she wrote in a Dec. 10 Facebook post. “And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

With reports earlier this month indicating that Wheaton College would now be considering termination, the school released a Jan. 6 statement to TheBlaze explaining at the time that there was an “impasse reached by the parties.”

“Wheaton College can confirm reports that on January 4, 2016, per College policies and procedures, Provost Stanton Jones delivered to President Philip Ryken and to Dr. Larycia Hawkins a Notice of Recommendation to Initiate Termination-for-Cause Proceedings regarding Dr. Hawkins,” the statement read. “The Notice is not a termination; rather, it begins Wheaton College’s established process for employment actions pertaining to tenured faculty members.”

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Wheaton College Professor Comes Out Wearing Hijab, Quotes ‘Pope Francis’: ‘We All Worship Same God’

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.

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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.

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“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.”

 

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