The Second Vatican Council declared that Muslims profess “to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God.” Later: “Muslims worship God, who is one, the Creator of heaven and earth,” and said that the “Muslim religion” is “deserving of our admiration for all that is good and true in the worship of God.”
Larycia Hawkins, a professor of Politics and International Relations at Wheaton, decided to wear a hijab to her classes. She explained on Facebook that she did this as part of her “advent worship” in order to demonstrate that she:
“Stand[s] 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.”
In addition to her strange identification of Christians as “people of the book” (which is an Islamic category), her expression of solidarity with Muslims was poorly timed, to say the least.
For many Middle Eastern Christians, the hijab represents the brutal oppression of women by Muslims. Moreover, in much of Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Libya, this was the first Christmas season in 2000 years without Christians to celebrate it. Islamic terrorists (who require women to wear a hijab by law) have essentially eliminated churches through much of the Middle East. So from the comfort and safety of Illinois, an American Professor publically showed “solidarity” with those who are slaughtering Christians by wearing a symbol of Islamic female suppression.
Sarah Pulliam Bailey has a helpful summary of what happened next, but the gist is this:
Wheaton was unpersuaded by Hawkins’ appeal to Papal authority—the good news is that apparently there are some evangelicals that remain Protestant—and the administration responded by asking her what, exactly, she meant by saying that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.
Hawkins essentially declined to elaborate, saying “I don’t want to be subjected to a theological inquisition.” Instead she held a press conference where—and somethings you can’t make up—she was flanked by Jesse Jackson as well as a handful of liberal, female, clergy.
Wheaton then moved to terminate her employment, which required notification to the Illinois Department of Education. But a few weeks later, Wheaton’s faculty revolted and their faculty council unanimously (!) voted to oppose her termination.
Where does that leave Wheaton? Well, Wheaton’s president is Phil Ryken, former pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church. In fact, Ryken came to Tenth Pres when James Montgomery Boice was the pastor, and before him was Donald Grey Barnhouse. In other words, Ryken understands that Christians worship a triune God—a concept that Muslims find blasphemous.