Wheaton College, a Christian institution in Illinois, has suspended Larycia Hawkins, an associate professor of political science who has attracted considerable attention for saying she would wear a hijab throughout Advent to express solidarity with Muslims. A statement from the college said the suspension was not for her wearing the hijab, but because of "significant questions regarding the theological implications of statements" she has made. "Wheaton College faculty and staff make a commitment to accept and model our institution's faith foundations with integrity, compassion and theological clarity. As they participate in various causes, it is essential that faculty and staff engage in and speak about public issues in ways that faithfully represent the college's evangelical statement of faith," said the college's statement on the suspension.
The college did not specify the statements Hawkins made that were of concern. But Christianity Today reported that many evangelicals were distressed by statements from Hawkins that Christians and Muslims "worship the same God." Some Christians share that view; many others do not.
Hawkins posted on her Facebook page a brief explanation of her views and links to other sources to defend her belief that Christians and Muslims do worship the same god. "My wearing of the hijab as an act of Advent devotion has certainly caused some to question the sincerity of my devotion. To those who question the authenticity of my faith, I love you," she wrote.