Over the past few months we have all been moved by the inspiring dignity of Professor Larycia Hawkins‘ and her “embodied solidarity” with the Muslim community in this current atmosphere of Islamophobia. A lone voice that stood against all odds to insist “you will not walk alone.”
In December, Dr. Hawkins donned a hijab during her own observance of Christian Advent to express her support for Muslim sisters. With this act she expressed on social media that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God,” a statement that got her put on administrative leave from her professorship at Wheaton Christian College.
Following a harrowing few months of national media attention, controversy, and hearings, Dr. Hawkins and Wheaton College have now found a place of mutual resolution and reconciliation. The provost who had recommended termination withdrew his recommendation, did some soul-searching and asked for forgiveness.
Dr. Hawkins will still part the college by mutual agreement, but will remain in spirit through a scholarship created by Wheaton in her name.
All along Dr. Hawkins refused to curse anyone, only to bless. She insisted that advocacy for her never demonize those who stood against her. She truly demonstrated integrity, grace, and a deep love for her place of teaching and most of all the students whom she served with care and excellence.
The resolution was announced publicly at a press conference yesterday. The President of Wheaton College Dr. Philip Graham Ryken was present and spoke as well as did CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab. Rehab proposed to Dr. Ryken that moving forward, Wheaton College and CAIR-Chicago ought to engage in dialogue bringing in our mutual communities, and Dr. Ryken accepted.
At the press conference, Dr. Hawkins doubled down on her commitment of “embodied solidarity” with Muslims. Just last Monday, she wore the Hijab again in support of “World Hijab day.” Yesterday, she began her remarks reflecting on the difficulties facing Muslims in America and expressing her undying solidarity with us. That was her opening concern, even as she was asked to address her own difficulties.
CAIR-Chicago is so proud to have stood with such a courageous, principled, unbreakable soul, who teaches by stance not by chance, by action not by word.
We are honored that Dr. Hawkins will address our community at CAIR-Chicago’s upcoming Annual Banquet at Drury Lane, Saturday Feb 20.
We hope that you will join us.
Our 12th Annual Banquet is set to take place on Saturday, February 20th, 2010, at 6:00 p.m., at Drury Lane.
Please show your support for CAIR-Chicago’s vital work by purchasing a ticket to our Annual Banquet.