SHAFAQNA- Larycia Hawkins, former Wheaton College professor expelled for saying Christians and Muslims worship the same God, has said she would do it all over again.
The evangelical lecturer posted a photograph of herself in a hijab in December with a caption encouraging solidarity with Muslims. The post prompted outrage and Hawkins was immediately suspended from her role.
In her original Facebook post, Hawkins had said, “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”
Despite the fallout, Hawkins has said she would repeat her actions.
“I had no idea it would blow up in the way it did, but I would do it again and again and again,” she said in a public conversation last Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church in Chicago.
In wearing the hijab she was “trying to position myself with my Muslim sisters”, she said.
That’s what solidarity is, she added: “standing with people whatever their need.”
Hawkins’ post was in response to Jerry Falwell Jr, President of Liberty University, who had just encouraged his students to carry concealed guns so they could “end those Muslims before they walked in”.
“It just blows my mind when I see that the president of the United States that the answer to circumstances like that is more gun control,” he said days after a shooting in San Bernardino, California left 14 people dead.
“What was I thinking?” asked Hawkins. “What was Jerry Falwell, Jr., thinking? I think that’s the appropriate question. I also think the appropriate question is ‘who are we?'”
Hawkins was speaking alongside Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“It was something that stuck out positively as a surprise – that somebody would care enough to do something like this,” he said of Hawkins’ post. “We had sort of accustomed ourselves to hearing and seeing the opposite.”
Rehab said his understanding of Christianity “has been enhanced and it’s been improved, and the appreciation for living out Christian values and beliefs have improved as well.
“I actually see Christianity embodied in Professor Hawkins’ actions,” he said. “So it’s not just rhetoric. God put you on this path, Larycia. Now we’re having these conversations.”