بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
News & Comment
The Tolerance of US Democracy is a One-Way Street for Muslims
The Wall Street Journal reported that new steps were being taken by Wheaton College in America to remove the tenure of a professor who already last month was suspended on full pay for supporting Muslims. The New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, Fox News, The Guardian, Time and many others have shown great interest in this issue, because it contradicts a common propaganda in the West that they are the tolerant ones and the Muslims are full of hate towards them and their so-called freedoms.
Professor Larycia Hawkins is being punished by her employer, Wheaton College, after supporting Muslims in the face of propaganda against them. She said last week that she wanted to “bring attention to the plight of American citizens...who are discriminated against because they wear their faith on their head.” Although she has signed a statement of Christian faith in her College, which is a Christian college, she wore the Muslim headscarf in support of Muslims and said publicly on Facebook that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.
Wheaton College has taken offence by her actions and has claimed that their disciplinary actions against Professor Larycia Hawkins are in response to her comments on Facebook. This claim might seem at first to be reasonable, as the college is a private one and has been established to teach Christian values based upon a defined set of creedal principles. However, Professor Hawkins did not deny any of the principles of the Christian faith and the Christian media have been arguing for the past few weeks about the interpretation of her claim that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. In light of the fact that there is no clear interpretation of what her comments mean for the College creed, and hence it is not sure whether she violated her contract or not, it must then be something other than violation of the college's statement of faith that led to her being suspended.
By refusing to demonize Muslims as terrorists and by wearing the Muslim headscarf in solidarity, she has stood in the path of a tidal wave of hate against Muslims on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and for this her college is trying to sweep her away. The ill-informed hatred of Islam that is growing in Europe and America is fuelling exactly the bigotry and fanaticism that those who attack Muslims and Islam are claiming to be opposing. While this anti-Islamic movement is accusing Muslims of religious intolerance, hatred and even terrorism, it is the Muslims who are being bullied, beaten and forced into silence. Professor Hawkins has confirmed that she supports her college principles of faith, but her tolerance towards Muslims is the real offence for which she is about to lose her job.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Dr. Abdullah Robin