Guest Writer

by Megan Pavlischek Grant


Guest Writer

December 17, 2015

Here’s Where Hijab-Wearing Wheaton Prof Went Wrong

As an evangelical Christian and Wheaton College alumna (2009), who has spent years living among Muslims in Morocco and has worked with Iraqi refugees in Illinois, I find that the controversy surrounding Larycia Hawkins appeals to some of my deepest theological, intellectual and emotional commitments.

The issue boils down to two of Hawkins’ actions:

  1. She committed to wear a headscarf for the season of advent as an expression of compassion and solidarity with Muslims in America. – Good for her!
  1. She justified her actions on Facebook, saying “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book…” – Here is where she went terribly wrong.

One of my passions is encouraging evangelical expressions of empathy, compassion and solidarity with Muslims. In 2007, I took a year off from Wheaton College and moved to Morocco for the first time. I was 20 years old and knew nothing of the “real world” outside of the evangelical bubbles of my Christian high school and college. My purpose was to learn Arabic and expose myself to “other” people – another race, another religion, another way of life. Later I went back to Morocco as a Fulbright scholar and took a more intentional approach to understanding the religion and culture of my host country.

During my years in Morocco, a Muslim family took me in and made me their own. They called me daughter, sister and auntie. They stuck their necks out for me, defended me to neighbors who didn’t approve of the Christian they had taken in, and generously took me into their home for months at a time. While I lived in Morocco it was the Muslims that I knew (certainly not the evangelical Christians) who showed me the most incredible, humbling grace and kindness.

As an expression of solidarity with my Muslim “family,” I fasted alongside them during Ramadan several years. I was able to share their hunger and thirst, and commiserate with them about the almost unbearable sense of grumpiness before we finally broke the fast and once again could unite in joy and laughter. My gesture of solidarity meant a lot to them for reasons I don’t quite understand. I suppose they felt respected and validated. It also taught me a lot.

However, despite my commitment to show compassion and solidarity with some of my closest friends, I would never say, as Dr. Hawkins did, that my empathy is because of some sense of theological similarity. Doing so would both defile my own theological integrity and cheapen the sincere and profound love I feel for them despite the incompatibility of our theologies. Furthermore, it would put improper limits on my call to Christian compassion and kindness.

First, to say that Muslims are “like me” because we are all “people of the book” is just false. While it may be the easy “get out of awkward conversation free” card, it defies my theological convictions as an evangelical Christian. I believe in a trinitarian God, and I cannot deny the deity of Christ, or that he was begotten of the Father. These beliefs, though, are blasphemy to my Muslim friends and family. I can choose to downplay these differences, or I can express them with gentleness and respect. When I affirm my trinitarian God, my dear Muslim friends see clearly that my God is not the same as theirs. At least one of us is in ignorance. We can’t both be right. By acknowledging this, we can begin a real conversation about what we believe. We speak with sincerity and respect. This is how true, deep, loving inter-religious relationships function: with mutual understanding without capitulation. Unless, of course, through brilliant reasoning one succeeds in convincing the other.

Secondly, Hawkins’ justification of her compassionate solidarity on the grounds of theological compatibility is completely unnecessary. Christians are called to show compassion to the Muslim – not because of our shared theology, but because of our shared humanity. Because Muslims, as well as Christians, bear the image of God, we must treat them with dignity. Hawkins’ statement that she stands with Muslims because they are “like me” in their religion is insufficient. I would ask Dr. Hawkins if the same compassion would be incumbent upon us toward people who are not of the Abrahamic tradition. Of course it is. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  That includes the Muslim, the polytheist and the atheist. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Who is my neighbor? Humanity.

Wheaton’s statement cites the following as a reasons for Hawkins’ suspension:

“Wheaton College faculty and staff make a commitment to accept and model our institution’s faith foundations with integrity, compassion and theological clarity.”

Hawkins’ unspoken message in donning the headscarf expresses solidarity with Muslims in America at a time when they need such compassionate encouragement and neighborliness. I applaud Hawkins for this. The statements she made to explain and justify this expression, however,  are deeply problematic and do raise questions regarding her theological clarity, if not her theological integrity.


 

88 Responses to Here’s Where Hijab-Wearing Wheaton Prof Went Wrong

  1. Brad F says:

    She wore the hijab because she’s a publicity glutton – now she can play the martyr too. She’s enjoying it all immensely.

    • brookspj says:

      Would your reaction be the same if it were a conservative professor at a liberal university who said things critical of Islam?

    • FA Miniter says:

      You are showing the kind of compassion that I notice is common to all right-wing Christians.

      • Brad F says:

        I spoke the truth, which inevitably upsets all left-wing “Christians.”

        Here’s some more truth: Your contempt for conservative Christians is rooted in envy. In the free market of religions in America, the mainlines/liberals have been shrinking away to nothing for 50 years – rightly so. Serving as patsies for the secular left has emptied out your churches, and enlarged mine. You keep talking about being “inclusive,” but the numbers prove that no one wants to be included. Nondenominational churches like mine are growing – we’re also ethnically more diverse than the left-wing churches, which are basically just clubs for white liberals. The fastest-growing denomination in America, the conservative Assemblies of God, is 84 percent white – those “inclusive” and “diverse” Episcopalians are 92 percent white.

        Facts are stubborn things. The Christian churches are doing fine, the ACLU churches are dying. Good riddance.

        • FA Miniter says:

          Absolutely no envy of anyone as callous as you. I am sorry for you, since you see compassion as a “left” thing, rather than a human thing. I guess you would not pull a pig out of mud on the Sabbath.

          • Brad F says:

            I stated FACTS, there is nothing “callous” about facts. You’re just touchy because you religion is dying. God isn’t there in left-wing churches, that’s why people have abandoned them.
            The lefty mind is amazing: I state some basic facts about the lack of ethnic diversity in left-wing churches, and you respond with “I guess you would not pull a pig out of the mud on the sabbath.” Sorry, just don’t see the connection there, but it’s typical for a lefty to get irrational when it’s pointed out that their churches are miserable failures.

          • FA Miniter says:

            Your initial comment contained no facts, just mean-spirited, gleeful speculation.

            As to the pig, my mistake, it was an ass or an ox, or even a sheep, depending on which source you reference.

            In case you had not noticed, only you have been going on about churches. I am talking about actually being a good person.

          • David Wink says:

            Being a”good person” is not required for Salvation! The acceptance of the sacrifice of Gods son is the only requirement.

          • FA Miniter says:

            No wonder Gandhi said, “Your Christ I like. Your Christians I do not like.”

            I know that is what Luther taught. Shameful!

          • C. Y. Cheng says:

            @FA Miniter Gandhi’s statement is not being used by you in the right context. Have you thought about all the contributions made by Christian missions to India even today? So Gandhi would prefer people dying on the street of Calcutta to Mother Teresa and all the sisters in the mission? So her dedication to the most neglected people in India is horrible in your eye, right?

            Let’s stick to the discussion on Hawkins’ statements and actions that trigger the suspension by Wheaton.

          • FA Miniter says:

            More than one of Gandhi’s closest friends were Christians. At the moment I am thinking of C. F. Andrews, an Anglican priest. Andrews was able, however, to step back and see Gandhi’s views on Christianity and objectively report them. I strongly suggest that you read his book, Mahatma Gandhi’s Ideas (3rd ed. 1930).

            No, Gandhi would not have wanted Mother Teresa to end her work. She was simply a good person, doing good deeds helping the poor. She was more Christ-like than Christian.

            By the way, excellent example for the overall discussion here. Did you know that Mother Teresa, when she got to India, stopped wearing the traditional habit of the Loreto convent and started wearing a simple white sari with a blue border? Very much like the professor at Wheaton College.

          • jimeckland says:

            Jesus did say “Repent and Believe!” We are to turn our lives around also.

          • Jai Sindh says:

            “Acceptance of the sacrifice of God’s Son is only requirement for salvation” is inherently evil comment. There’s no such thing as the “only way”. People of all faiths say the same. Only way can be right but every way can be wrong. Besides who are you to decide who achieves salvation? Why such arrogance?

          • C. Y. Cheng says:

            @faminiter:disqus I am shocked by your strong and un-Biblical liberal views expressed here. It will be great to know whether you are an evangelical Christian or not.

          • FA Miniter says:

            Jesus was a liberal. He preferred mercy to justice. He preferred doing a good deed to obeying the strict letter of the law – such as pulling the ass out of mud on the Sabbath. Doing good, being a good person, is what Jesus taught.

            It does not matter what church you go to, or which particular theology you ascribe to, if you are not a good person, helping others instead of criticizing them and condemning them out of a false sense of self-righteousness.

            None of you are without sin. So stop casting stones.

            ———–
            And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
            3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
            4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
            5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
            6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
            7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
            8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
            9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.
            10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
            11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

            12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
            ——————

            It is a far better thing to be persecuted than to persecute.

          • C. Y. Cheng says:

            @FA Miniter Your own words confirmed my suspicion. You don’t want to call yourself an evangelical Christian because you must have substantial disagreements against the simple faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and God, and the authority of the Bible as God’s revelation. You are definitely entitled to your own views, but you seem to believe that you are above and superior than evangelical Christians.

            First of all, since when it is “casting stones” or “persecuting others” simply because we speak the truth about Islam, and against the false statements of “Christians and Muslims believe in the same God”? Of course we are sinners, so are you. But Jesus told the woman, “sin no more.” Telling other lies and false teachings is sin also. Repent, and stop sinning is the only requirement to receive God’s forgiveness.

            So in the context of our discussion, the point is whether Wheaton College did the right and justifiable things in suspending Hawkins for her views and actions. Wheaton College is a Christian College. All faculty members voluntarily agreed to the conditions on their faith, doctrines, personal behaviors, etc. If you are not an evangelical Christian, honestly speaking, sorry, you have come to the wrong party in the discussions here. That is the reason why it is shocking to see that you deliver half truth and accusing me and others of casting stones.

            Let me give you an analogy of your being in the wrong party: say you go to a mosque and tell them you are going to hold a pork chop dinner right inside the mosque, because you feel all the pig farmers have been wrongly maligned by Muslim’s teaching. If they throw you out, you accuse them of casting stones on you! You are only showning your solidarity with fellow human beings who like to eat pork! This is of course absurd. Everyone knows that muslims don’t eat pork, yet you tell them it is not helping the world if muslims maintain that pig is unclean. (By the way, make sure you don’t do that, I am just using it as a “parable”. And of course, you will be out of your mind if you do so.)

          • FA Miniter says:

            In your example, the action of cooking pork in a Mosque would be highly insulting to Islam. But a Christian wearing a hibab to show sympathy for Muslims – and especially to show American Christian sympathy for American Muslims – is not offensive to Christianity. And she never forswore Christianity. Jesus was a deeply sympathetic person, who himself identified with the oppressed. (That was the message of the Beatitudes, which I quoted above!!!!!) Wheaton College, on the other hand, blew the message of Christian sympathy for oppressed Muslims in America right out of the water. No identification with the oppressed came from them. Just theological rectitude and intolerance for any who do not march in lockstep.

        • g kelly says:

          If that is the case, why do right wing evangelicals spending so much time complaining?

      • Thomas Peavy says:

        And to categorize “All Right Wing Christians” as a group without variations demonstrates a Bigotry itself. Would you say “All Black People”, “All Jews”, “All Catholics”, “All Women, or “All GLBT” ?? I doubt it however; you easily group all right-wing Christians. I once saw a cartoon of Bigotry as a person look into a reflecting pool and upon see their image declare “You ugly devil.” The title of that cartoon was Bigotry.

    • g kelly says:

      Brad, when you impute motives to others that are contradicted by the evidence, you come across as a bigot. If her goal was “martyrdom”, I guess we should be happy that Wheaton came through for her. However, one suspects that Wheaton was inspired by prejudice, rather than principle, which seems unchristian in the extreme.

      Didn’t someone famous once say, “Judge not,…”

      • DidIt says:

        Um, you’re sort of letting everyone know how little you know about the situation, and particularly how little you know about Wheaton College and the statement the professor signed when hired, which supersedes her tenure papers and is part of her hiring contract. She violated that. There is no “prejudice” involved. Either you are a person of your word or you are not! If you are not; if you cannot be trusted to tell the truth about your own personal faith viewpoint, then what else is a mish-mash in your life, and why would you be a professor?

    • Leon M. Green says:

      Even if that were true, those are mean comments not in harmony with, e.g., Psalm 15.

  2. brookspj says:

    But I’m guessing the author would say she believes Jews worship the same God despite not believing in the Trinity. So is that a far basis to deny commonality with Muslims who worship the God of Abraham? I would also ask the author whether she believes her views here are synonymous with Wheaton’s official position on the question of Islam’s relationship with Christianity, which is not laid out in their Statement of Faith or any public record I’ve been able to find. Is it fair to punish her for being in violation of a school doctrine that for all intents and purposes doesn’t exist yet?

    • Shawn says:

      There is a continuity of revelation between Judaism and Christianity, which doesn’t exist between Judaism and Islam. In other words, Christians believe the revelation of God to the Jews was completed in the coming of Jesus Christ. In practical terms, this means that the Jews had an incomplete knowledge of God (they didn’t yet know about the Trinity, for example), but it was not an inaccurate knowledge of him (he really did reveal himself to them). Further, Jesus is constantly tying himself to the revelation of God in the Jewish Scriptures in a way that links him to that revelation. He is the ending the Old Testament story was always looking for.

      The case is entirely different with Islam. Along comes a “revelation” that seeks to undermine and rewrite not only what Jesus Christ revealed but also the bulk of what the Jews had in their Scriptures. According to the Muslims it wasn’t Isaac who was chosen (as the Jews thought and from whom Jesus ultimately was born) but Ishmael. Also, gone is any notion among the Muslims of the promises to the Jewish king David of an heir who would be God’s eternal king (who is, again, ultimately Jesus). So, rather than being the completion of the Old Testament revelation, Islam is a scrapping of, correction of, and replacement of that revelation. So, Muslims may claim to be worshiping the God of Abraham, but they say things about him (starting in the 7th century) that have no continuity with what came centuries before.

      Your point about the lack of the explicit mention of Christianity’s relationship to Islam in Wheaton’s theological statements is moot. From the explicit confession of Jesus’ Deity in Wheaton’s statements you can easily infer that Islam (which denies Jesus’ Deity and which wholesale seeks to replace the Jewish revelation) is talking about a different deity.

      • brookspj says:

        I see so the whole Trinity or nothing criteria everyone keeps floating only applies when not talking about Judaism? What Mormons? Jehovah’s Witnesses? Oneness Pentecostals? All non-Trinitarian. Do they worship a different god? I’m not asking are they worshipping God the wrong way. I’m asking are they worshipping a completely different god?
        Then why hasn’t the administration said that? What are they waiting for if it’s so obvious that she’s in violation as you say? Why say they’re continuing to investigate? What it looks like to me is that the matter has either not come up before at the college or when professors or officials have made such statements before they’ve not been treated as grounds for concern. In which case the reason Dr. Hawkins is being punished is because fear of Islam is at all time high. Tell me if she had said Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses (both of whom are non-Trinitarian) worship the same God as the students in her classes would this be happening? My guess is no. It might still generate some debate, there might be a paragraph in local paper or news site, but certainly no suspension and ongoing investigation.

        • Kevin says:

          Same as my previous comment. Jesus said they didn’t know or worship the father because if they did, they’d accept him. John 8-18-19: “18”I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” 19So
          they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You
          know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father
          also.””

          • Kevin says:

            Non-trinitarian = another God. The OT clearly testified to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and Jesus himself said they clearly testified to him. (Isaiah 53 comes to mind). So while the promised Savior hadn’t yet been revealed He HAD been promised, and while the full plan of God was still somewhat obscured, the path to salvation was still roughly the same: that is…believing in God’s promised redeemer. There was a “true Israel” and those who were not true Israel. Non Messianic Jews today are not worshiping the true God. And Muslims? Allah was a pagan moon-god chosen by Mohammed.

          • FA Miniter says:

            When in the Jewish Bible reference is made to “the spirit of El [or Yahweh]” there is no attempt to bifurcate the divinity into two persons at all. That is a completely Christian re-write of what was intended. Those words were written in a quasi-anthropomorphic context.

      • FA Miniter says:

        Theologically, Muslims see themselves much closer to Jews than to Christians, whom they consider to be polytheists. Muslims embrace the doctrine of Tawhid – unity, oneness – as the central theological principle of the religion. Jews, especially since Philo of Alexandria, also hold the pure oneness of god to be central to their beliefs. I note too that the word “Allah” derives from the same word as “El” used in much of Genesis and early in Exodus.

        • Paul Zesewitz says:

          Oh really, FA? Then please explain to me why most Muslims don’t get along too well with Jews and that lots of them advocate wiping Israel off the map?

          • FA Miniter says:

            That has more to do with history than religion, though in the depths of time, religious beliefs gave rise to the ugly facts of history. Read Karen Armstrong, Holy War: The Crusades and their Impact on Today’s World (rev. ed. 1991).

            Looking just at the last hundred years, Jews and Muslims co-existed peacefully in the Palestine until World War One, when Britain, in order to get political and military help from the Palestinians and financial help from the Jews, promised each of them their own homeland in the same territory. That led to the great migration of Jews in the inter-war period, increasing conflict between the two groups, and the eventual War of 1948, in which the Jews forcibly removed large numbers of Palestinians from lands they had occupied for centuries, at the same time declaring the State of Israel. The grievances begun by British perfidy have yet to be resolved.

    • Kevin says:

      The author may say that, but Jesus himself said otherwise: John 8-18-19: “18”I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” 19So
      they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.”” You know neither Me NOR the Father. While the Old Testament clearly testified to the trinitarian God, the [non-Messianic] Jews don’t know or worship the true God.

  3. Mike Ward says:

    Wheaton was just looking for justification for disciplining this professor and this flimsy rationalization is the best they could come up with.

    • SMELEPHANTIX says:

      Mike doesn’t know what he’s talking about so he rushed to judgment to make a post quickly, as the internet demands. This was the best post he could come up with.

    • DidIt says:

      Mikey, Mikey, Mikey. This professor signed a statement of faith that supersedes her tenure contract. It applies to EVERY teacher/professor and every student there. Why would you consider that a flimsy rationalization? They stand for something and they mean it! Are you telling us you stand for nothing? How very modern of you!

  4. PKT says:

    http://www.amazon.com/American-Christians-Islam-Evangelical-Terrorism/dp/0691162301

    Tracing Islam’s role in the popular imagination of American Christians from the colonial period to today, Kidd demonstrates that Protestant evangelicals have viewed Islam as a global threat–while also actively seeking to convert Muslims to the Christian faith–since the nation’s founding. He shows how accounts of “Mahometan” despotism and lurid stories of European enslavement by Barbary pirates fueled early evangelicals’ fears concerning Islam, and describes the growing conservatism of American missions to Muslim lands up through the post-World War II era. Kidd exposes American Christians’ anxieties about an internal Islamic threat from groups like the Nation of Islam in the 1960s and America’s immigrant Muslim population today, and he demonstrates why Islam has become central to evangelical “end-times” narratives. Pointing to many evangelicals’ unwillingness to acknowledge Islam’s theological commonalities with Christianity and their continued portrayal of Islam as an “evil” and false religion, Kidd explains why Christians themselves are ironically to blame for the failure of evangelism in the Muslim world.

    • Andrew says:

      I think the fact that Muslims are supposed to kill any Muslim who converts to another religion might also play a role. Are Christians responsible for that Muslim commandment? No way.

      • FA Miniter says:

        Actually, it is not a commandment in Islam. In fact, no such punishment is found in the Qur’an. A number of comments in Hadith mention it, but Hadith is not the Qur’an. And contemporary scholarship notes that Hadith is not unanimous on the subject. Also, the current Grand Mufti of Cairo Ali Gomaa (along with some other current scholars) has stated that while God will punish apostates in the afterlife they should not be executed by human beings. There was and remains controversy as to whether an apostacy that does not affect the body politic should be subject to the death penalty, even where it is a possibility.

        Research before posting.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo says:

          Is it your contention that the Hadiths don’t have an authority equal to the Quran? I certainly hope not,because the fact that there seems to be a fair amount of confusion on the issue of whether so-called ” apostates” should be killed would suggest that the Islamic world cannot reach a consensus regarding this punishment.The book entitled ” Reliance of the Traveller”advocates death to apostates once they reach a certain age; there is NO DOUBT that in certain Islamic nations this penalty IS enforced,sometimes extra judicially. (You know that some countries,like Pakistan,have blasphemy and apostacy laws enshrined within their judiciary,right?)–to the victims of these laws,it’s irrelevant whether they’re injurious to the “body politic”;they’ll be just as dead.YOU do some research.PEACE.

          • FA Miniter says:

            The Hadiths cannot have equal authority to the Qur’an. That would be like saying that Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae has equal authority to the gospels. They are third party claims as to what Mohammed said. Hearsay, basically. Some have the force of being claims of contemporaries of his. But many others were written long after his death, and the author could not possibly have been present. Besides, not all that Mohammed said could be declared the word of god. What if he asked “What is for dinner?”

            You are right that there is no consensus in the Islamic world on the issue.

            If you recall, the issue was raised when Sudan recently (2014) condemned a Christian woman to death because her father was Muslim so by their law, she should have been raised Muslim. But as her mother was an Orthodox Christian from Ethiopia, she was raised Christian. That was not acceptable to Sudan. When it became public knowledge, Sudan released her to come to America.

          • Laurence Charles Ringo says:

            With all due respect, Mr.Miniter,you’re looking at the situation from a truncated Western worldview.Any knowledgeable Muslim can tell you that the Hadiths are of equal authority,if not in some cases exceeds,the Quran in many areas of Islamic life,since they purport to outline practically every aspect of Muhammad’s life,and that Muslims should conduct their lives according to his as closely as possible. In Pakistan,as I mentioned before,the judiciary has no problem prouncing the death penalty at the mere mention of his name being blasphemed,a draconian penalty the Quran does NOT advocate.As for the list of Islamic nations that you listed in which various churches exist,my response is: so what?.To all intent and purposes these toothless”churches”may as well not even exist; they’re so constrained and regulated they have little real influence; in many of the countries you listed it is letr

          • C. Y. Cheng says:

            FA Miniter is spreading outright LIES here about Islam — it is almost impossible that Miniter does not know how badly Muslims persecute Christians according to Quran, Hadith and Sharia, yet Miniter portrays a normal picture except Saudi Arabia, and he/she is simultaneously telling us Christianity does not hold the truth, and anyone disagreeing with him is a bigot… It’s ironic that Miniter reveals so much about his/her own bigotry.

          • FA Miniter says:

            Hardly a credible source. Bigotry on-line.

            I note that he uses Saudi Arabia as his example of Islam. Saudi Arabia’s version of the Sunni sect is Wahhabist. That is a very puritanical version not accepted by Muslims in most countries.

            If you listen to the news or read it, you will know that there are Christian churches in Syria and Iraq. In fact, most Muslim run countries have Christian churches. Pointing to the one that does not have them is really very deceptive. Churches exist in Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Burkino Faso, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, The Gambia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

            In fact, only Maldives, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia and Somalia ban churches.

            Don’t believe the bigots .

          • Brian Huggett says:

            I do listen to the news but not the MSM. Christians are being slaughtered by Islam by the thousands. But believe what you will, its your head. I trust you will change your mind whilst you have one.

          • Rachelthemillenial says:

            Sure. Anything you disagree with is “bigotry.” Typical of narrowminded PC types.

          • MM says:

            Is Islam the truth?

          • FA Miniter says:

            No, neither is Christianity, or Judaism, or Buddhism, or Hinduism, etc.

            That does not mean that we cannot learn from each of them to be better persons. There is richness in the mythology of each that touches the deepest part of each of us. (Otherwise they would have been lost in the mists of time.) We should learn from that connection and strive to be more merciful. And that means making, continuously, every day of the year, further efforts to help those less fortunate. And if you know no one less fortunate than yourself, get out and meet some of them.

          • C. Y. Cheng says:

            @FA Miniter The most outrageous answer I have heard. You flatly say “No, neither is Christianity..” By what authority can you make this claim? It must be your own. I see.

            FA Miniter, you have to be a “god” to speak like that. It just shows your genius is so stupendous that it is about time that you should start a religion worshiping your own loft ideas.

            Christians in those muslim countries are persecuted by Sharia law, you do know that, right? Christians are dhimmis, they must pay the jizyah tax. Don’t paint the false pictures of Islam being a tolerant religion here, you are LYING. Christians in muslim countries are legally persecuted in so many ways. They cannot share their Christian faith. It is a death penalty. Hence it is the best recipe for Christians to disappear in muslim countries. Christians have very little protection by the Sharia law if there is any. Non-muslims either pay the extra taxes, convert, or die, according to the Quran.—see below.

            Do you like the idea of being a dhimmi in the muslim countries before your conversion to Islam?If you have converted, congratulations! Mind you: this is not changeable. Because “A-l-l-a-h” says it in Quran 9:29

            Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

          • FA Miniter says:

            Don’t confuse Saudi Arabia and three other Islamic countries with all the rest of Islamic countries. You don’t know what you are talking about. That was the point of my long list above.

            You seem to believe absolutely in your particular version of Evangelical Christianity. Are you a god to have divined its pure truth?

          • MM says:

            Do tell then – what is the truth? And why should we learn to be better persons and to be more merciful? And why should I get out and meet someone less fortunate than myself?

          • FA Miniter says:

            Goethe, Faust: Part 1, Scene 1:

            Faust:: Ah! Now I’ve done Philosophy,
            I’ve finished Law and Medicine,
            And sadly even Theology:
            Taken fierce pains, from end to end.
            Now here I am, a fool for sure!
            No wiser than I was before:
            Master, Doctor’s what they call me,
            And I’ve been ten years, already,
            Crosswise, arcing, to and fro,
            Leading my students by the nose,
            And see that we can know – nothing!
            It almost sets my heart burning.
            I’m cleverer than all these teachers,
            Doctors, Masters, scribes, preachers:
            I’m not plagued by doubt or scruple,
            Scared by neither Hell nor Devil –
            Instead all Joy is snatched away,
            What’s worth knowing, I can’t say.

            ————————————

            Plato, Apology 37e – 38a :

            and if I say that the greatest good of a man is daily to converse about virtue, and all that concerning which you hear me examining myself and others, and that the life which is unexamined is not worth living — that you are still less likely to believe.
            ————————————-

            Truth is the (perhaps unattainable) object of the search, of the standing in lifelong awe (απορια) of the world.

            Why learn to be merciful? Because we take virtue – whatever it shall eventually be found to fully mean – to be good. And Jesus taught that one of the aspects of virtue is to be merciful.

            And why seek out those less fortunate? Because being merciful is not a solitary act. It requires an object and it requires sacrifice, taking from yourself to give to others.

          • C. Y. Cheng says:

            @faminiter:disqus David Wood’s presentation is “hardly credible”? Fine. Tell us anything in the presentation, from the sources, the interpretations, and the historical facts that is wrong. ONE solid example from the video will suffice. Not the kind of nefarious “bigotry” accusation you have uttered, I am saying you have to tell us which fact presented by Wood is factually wrong. If you refuse to do so, then you should simply take back your insulting word against David Wood.

            By the way, you wasted so many words telling us the Muslim countries allow Christian churches to exist, but how about the systematic persecutions and legally sanctioned hostile oppression they receive simply because they are Christians? Another important outrageous thing you have not even mentioned: why do those countries establish Islam to be the state religion, many countries also implement or follow Sharia law, in the first place? Islam is not just a “faith”, it is an all-encompassing straightjacket which dictates the life of very individual in the societies which follow Quran, Hadiths and Sharia. Children are forced to be indoctrinated in the school systems about Islam in those Islam countries. You think it is totally acceptable? Do you want to live there? You do know that any devout Muslims will strive to make the world (including the United States of America) ultimately to become a land ruled by Sharia law (you can pay Jizyah tax if you don’t convert), or do you refuse to admit this is true?

          • FA Miniter says:

            1. I already gave you a factual counter-example – many of them in fact. Wood used Saudi Arabia to falsely portray all of Islam.

            2. You show me in which countries I listed that persecution of Christians goes on and how, including exactly which countries tax Christianity without taxing Islam. Also list which countries require Christian children to attend Islamic education.

            3. You seem to forget that missionary work was started by, and is still dominated by, Christians. That is part of the problem these days in Africa with the intolerance of Pentacostals giving rise to laws to execute gays.

          • C. Y. Cheng says:

            (1)OK, where is the counter-example? Please post here again.

            Any countries under Islam will have the potential to become a new Saudi Arabia. Egypt was on her way to become one under the overthrown president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood party. Under Morsi, Christians were repeatedly murdered and Christian churches were burdened down with police forces standing idle when Islamic mobs attacked the Egyptian Christians.

            Turkey has been moving in that direction under R. T. Erdgoan.

            (2) I know many people from Pakistan. They were graduate students in the U.S. I was told that Christians can easily get into serious trouble in the Lahore region.

            This is also confirmed by the news of bombing attack on Christian churches in Lahore — it has been several bombing in recent years. Do you want me to point you to the BBC and many other websites for the news? Has the government caught any criminals for the crime? I am sure you can find no sympathy toward those dead and injured Christians because of whatever reasons you might have. Do you want to tell me this is not a society-sanctioned persecution in a Muslim country? Female Christians are frequently subject to rapes and sexual attacks in those countries you listed.

            (3)You simply refused to admit your mistakes about Nigeria. It is not a Muslim country by the context of your discussion. So a Nigerian Muslim president allowing Christian churches to exist in Nigeria is a sign of Muslim tolerance?

            That is enough.

          • FA Miniter says:

            1. Re-read the thread. No, other Islamic countries DO NOT have the potential to become Saudi Arabia. First of all, many Islamic countries are Shia not Sunni. (Look it up.) Second, only Saudi Arabia and a small region in the north of Pakistan subscribe to the Wahhabist theology. That is an extremely small minority of Sunnis. Your ignorance of Islam is appalling.

            1a. Egypt went through a period of civil war, in case you missed it. That is over. Coptic churches have been accepted there for as long as Islam ruled Egypt.

            1b. Turkey. Far more complicated than you would like to think.

            2. I have known many people from Pakistan, both Christian Americans who worked there for years and native Pakistanis who moved to America and begun businesses here. No problems for Christians. I do note that Pakistan is in a state of civil war right now, so outrages happen (as they do in the USA to Muslims), but that is not government policy. Perhaps, you think holligans are the government????

            3. Your answer on Nigeria is nothing. I listed another 40 or so countries. Keep going. And this time, cite to laws of the nation, not to the actions of rebels.

          • C. Y. Cheng says:

            Since when Nigeria has become a country with Islam as her oppressive “State Religion”? Are you telling us that being able to attend Christian churches in Nigeria is a grace granted by the Islamic terrorists ? Or have you already sided with and supported the cause of Boko Haram in the region because they are also “people of the book”? If you present such a long list of impressive “research results”, please at least take out the deception (e.g., Nigeria) because you lose credibility by doing so. (Nigeria is a very important country in Africa and in the world, your mistake is very suspicious.)

          • FA Miniter says:

            I never said that Islam was the state religion – oppressive or otherwise (I don’t know why you thought it necessary to use that adjective). It is a majority Islamic country (52% to 46% Christian) and it is run by a President who is Muslim. All that goes to show that a Muslim led country need not be “oppressive”. The rest of your comment does not deserve a response. Your anger and bias is subverting your reason.

          • C. Y. Cheng says:

            @@faminiter:disqus Since when Nigeria has become a country with Islam as her oppressive “State Religion”? Are you telling us that being able to attend Christian churches in Nigeria is a grace granted by the Islamic terrorists ? Or have you already sided with and supported the cause of Boko Haram in the region because they are also “people of the book”? If you present such a long list of impressive “research results”, please at least take out the deception (e.g., Nigeria) because you lose credibility by doing so. (Nigeria is a very important country in Africa and in the world, your mistake is very suspicious.)

    • Brian Huggett says:

      This guy does a pretty good job explaining Islamic jihad
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hUVVlgEqxY

  5. InjunTrouble77 says:

    Nonsense, there is nothing problematic with what she said. Muslims are people of the book just like Christians – everyone knows that, She did not say it was the same book.

    • Hollif50 says:

      Genesis 16:7-16 describes the naming of Ishmael, and God’s promise to Hagar concerning Ishmael and his descendants. This occurred at the well of Beer-lahai-roi, located in the desert region between Abraham’s settlement and Shur. Hagar fled here after Sarai dealt harshly with her for showing contempt for her mistress following her having become pregnant. Here, Hagar encountered an angel of God who instructed her to return and be submissive to Sarai so that she could have her child there. The blessing that this child’s father was promised was that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the dust of the earth. However, the promise would be to a son of Sarai; yet God would make of this child a great nation, who would be named Ishmael, because he was of the seed of Abraham. However God also said regarding Ishmael specifically that he will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers. When Ishmael was born, Abraham was 86 years old.

      • Interestingly to further confirm this, when God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac he says to him, “Take your son, your ONLY son Issac, whom you love . . . “(Gen. 22:2) For God because Abram and Sarai took things in their own hands, so to speak, it was as if Ishmael didn’t even exist. God’s work done in God’s way by God’s power is how he will “save his people from their sins.”

        • Peter says:

          I fully agree the covenant is clearly only through Isaac, however it should not be concluded that there was then complete irreconcilable enmity between Ishmael and his father or God. Gen. 25:9 says upon Abraham’s death “His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah…” Also, Gen. 21:20 says “God was with the boy [Ishamel].”

  6. EqualTime says:

    Wheaton’s bibles apparently don’t include the verses surrounding Genesis 17:20.

    • You seem to miss the part in the verses about the little trivial biblical idea of covenant. Wheaton’s Bibles are doing just fine. In case you didn’t see it, here is another of my comments in this thread:

      Interestingly to further confirm this, when God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac he says to him, “Take your son, your ONLY son Issac, whom you love . . . “(Gen. 22:2) For God because Abram and Sarai took things in their own hands, so to speak, it was as if Ishmael didn’t even exist. God’s work done in God’s way by God’s power is how he will “save his people from their sins.”

      • EqualTime says:

        Thanks for the response. Are you saying that in Gen 17:10 the God of Abraham didn’t bless Ishmael? The same God and the same Ishmael from whom Islam claim descendency? Does not the Gospel of Matthew trace Jesus’ lineage back to the same Abraham, and doesn’t Jessus profess to be one of the same God? In her very simple statement, she didn’t say Muslims worship the same God in the same way. She just said they worship the same God (of Abraham). Like Carholics, Protestants, Jews, Mormons. Unquestionably same God – just dogmas which have evolved differently over 4,050 years.

  7. g kelly says:

    She did not say “that Muslims are like me.” What she said is ” that they, like me, are people of the book.” There is a vast difference. What she meant is that Muslims and Christians are monotheistic religions, and both worship the God of Abraham.

    A fundamental foundation for logic and logical debate is getting your facts straight. This fundamental mischaracterization of what Professor Hawkins said destroys your entire argument. To say, “we worship the same God” is different from saying “we have the same religious beliefs.” That’s one reason Wheaton College should make nice as soon as possible, or be prepared for a long and embarrassing court fight.

    • C. Y. Cheng says:

      @g kelly do you believe that Bible is the revelation of God? If so, how can you believe that the same God suddenly revealed Quran to a brutal murderer called Muhammad hundreds of years after Jesus Christ? (Don’t be “offended”, read Hadith to verify the acts and life of Muhammad.)

      Muhammad and muslims can say whatever they want to say. But it is critical to see if they lied. It is clear that God in the Bible is NOT Allah. There are so many solid pieces of evidence, including (1) God’s name: “I am” versus “Allah”. God is Holy. It is blasphemous to change God’s name. (2) Who is Jesus? Is Jesus the only begotten Son of God, or created by God. (3) The completely different characters of God in the Bible versus the Allah in Quran. (4) Allah in Quran had so many contradiction in the revelation over the life of Muhammad. God in the Bible revealed Himself consistently throughout the Old and the New Testaments. I can name additional 180-degree contrasts, but you should get the points.

  8. Grace says:

    The problem with this article is that the author discounts the first 3/4 of the professor’s statement. Hawkins said, “I love my Muslim neighbor because s/he deserves love by virtue of her/his human dignity. I stand in human solidarity with my Muslim neighbor…” She specifically stated that she does stand with Muslims in human solidarity out of humanity and empathy and then that she stands with them in religious solidarity because, “they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.” She is not claiming that Muslims and Christains are of similar religions but that they worship the same god who called upon Abraham, regardless of how the beliefs differ from there.

    • C. Y. Cheng says:

      @Grace: the falsehood of Hawkins’ statement cannot be measured by the length. And there is no reason to accept Pope Francis’ statement if the statement is false. If you accept “We worship the same God” statement, how about the lie of “Islam is a religion of peace”? President Bush stated it in his address on record. I am not asking you, but asking any muslims: Do THEY believe it? Apparently not. Look at how brutally the Sunnis kill Shiites, and vice versa.

      No, God has revealed to us that His name is “I am” in the Bible, dated a few thousand years earlier than Muhammad invented Islam. God’s revelation has been completed by God’s coming into history in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Any changes to the Bible are heresies.

      Consequently, it is outright heretical to say that all of a sudden the same God changed his name to “Allah”, and in the Quran that Jesus was created by God — not God’s begotten Son, that Jesus was NOT crucified, hence resurrection did not happen. I don’t need to go on any further. It is clear that Wheaton College is right and justified in taking actions against a faculty member who has other sources of revelation higher than the Bible.

      As a side comment: The radical institutions in Saudi Arabia would be a good place for Hawkins to enjoy her religious views and freedom there.

      • Grace says:

        Hi there,

        Sorry I misrepresented my point; I’m not concerned about the length of Hawkins’ statement, but rather that this author’s main problem is with Hawkins’ religion-based sympathy. The author of this article attacks Hawkins for religiously sympathizing and condmens Hawkins for not sympathizing based on shared humanity. This is erroneous because Hawkins’ main point was that her actions stemmed from sympathy based on shared humanity. Therefore, the main point of this article is void.

        The mistaken understanding of Hawkins’ statement is enough to prove this article misdirected, but on top of that, Hawkins was not claiming that Islam and Christianity are the same or even similar. It’s not about having a god by the same name or of the same commandments, but rather about being based upon a higher power who called upon Abraham. Both Muslims and Christians do believe in a higher power calling upon Abraham and in this way, there is a relatable aspect between the two that can lead to sentiments of fraternity if a person so chooses to feel it. Furthermore, it is possible to feel religious solidarity simply based upon the fact that both parties hold religious beliefs, even if these beliefs differ. One can feel solidarity with people with whom one disagrees. Due to the many forms and bases of religious solidarity and the human solidarity expressed by Hawkins, the whole thesis of this author’s article is discredited.

        I passed judgement on neither the justification of Wheaton’s decision nor the violence associated with any religion. Both are irrelevant to my statement and thus I will not devolve into those topics.

  9. AndrewDowling says:

    Did the God that Christians worship, the God that Jesus called “Father,” reveal to Muhammad that God was emphatically NOT to be called “Father,” and that Jesus was emphatically NOT to be called “Son of God,” and that Christians were to be conquered and treated as second-class citizens?

    Kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it? If you think it’s the same God, logically
    you’d have to become Muslim. You sure can’t pray the “Our Father” prayer to a god who revealed to Muhammad that he is never to be called “Father,” nor are believers ever to be called “children of God.”

    • C. Y. Cheng says:

      Andew, thank you for being so clear and on the point. The action of Wheaton College is appropriate and necessary.

      She justified her actions on Facebook, saying “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book…”

      If this Larycia Hawkins expresses such a view, she is not only confused, but also heretical, according to the Bible, and according to the Koran. The “Allah” of Islam simply cannot be God who revealed Himself in the Bible and history, the creator of Heaven and Earth.

      By her own words and convictions, Hawkins has shown that she is not a follower of Jesus Christ until she abandons the false statements about religious solidarity with Islam.

    • Peter Vanden Bosch says:

      No, this emphasizes the point I continue to make in a variety of forums: Muslims have an imperfect understanding of God. (As do we Christians.) An imperfect understanding, even one we consider blasphemous, does not require the invention of a new God. There is only one, by the way.

  10. Benjamin Wortham says:

    I guess Wheaton doesn’t require any training in logic or classic theology. If I believe my neighbor is a putz and his wife considers him perfect we are still contemplating the same individual despite holding different beliefs about his nature. Like wise, Moses and Abraham did not believe in the trinity nor did they accept Christ as their savior, but to claim they worshipped a different God because of their incorrect beliefs is obviously silly. All three Abrahamic faiths embrace classic theism which insists that there can only be one God. It’s not theologically possible for any of the three to worship a different god even if they hold differing opinions on the nature and content of that god.

  11. Jodie Jodie says:

    The question of whether Christians and Muslims (and Jews for that matter) worship the same God is the wrong question. The real question is whether the divine being that reaches out to Christians with love and compassion is the same divine being that reaches out to Muslims. Is the divine being that draws them to prayer 5 times a day, to charity, to fasting, to chastity, and to humility, is this the same divine being that reaches out to us in Jesus Christ?

  12. Jay__Money says:

    Yup! The belief that Jesus is a prophet is required in Islam.

    Islam teaches the rejection of the Trinitarian Christian view that Jesus was God incarnate or the son of God.

  13. mnemos says:

    Well stated. She may very well have good intentions, but her expression was at best naive.

  14. Gene Krauss says:

    Faury tale!

  15. z zorn says:

    Whatever the author of this piece may believe, it is absolutely not credible that Wheaton would suspend a faculty member who declared that Christians and Jews worship the same God. Yet the arguments offered here about the trinity and the divinity of Christ apply to Judaism just as much as the do to Islam. Mormons also understand the trinity differently than other Christians.

  16. Richard S. Bell says:

    Ms Grant has spoken my opinions, in some places giving reasons where I had only intuitions.
    But she committed a howler in writing, “Who is my neighbor? Humanity.” Jesus was asked who is my neighbor and answered with the parable of the good Samaritan: my neighbor (whom I am commanded to love as myself) is one who does the will of God. Those who do the will of God so as to qualify as neighbors are not all humanity — not even nearly all humanity.

  17. Oki Mike says:

    Total moron…

  18. Paul Zesewitz says:

    I have to second Megan’s motion. I only need 4 words to express the reason why my God is not the same as Prof. Hawkins’ God, more commonly known as ‘Allah’. Those words are, THOU SHALT NOT KILL. The Quran is full of references that command its readers to murder in the name of Allah and Islam. My God, better known as Jesus Christ, is a God of peace and life. Her Allah is a god of war (jihad) and death. While I respect her opinion for what it is (an opinion) and also the beliefs of moderate Muslims who would no doubt argue with me, I find myself appalled that Wheaton College would hire professors who obviously don’t believe in the words of the Old Testament. So while I certainly don’t discriminate against Prof. Hawkins, I would advise Wheaton to hire a Christian in her place. Just saying.

  19. E. Calvin Beisner says:

    Brava! In addition, two things: (1) The role of the Quran in Islam is quite different from the role of the Bible in (at least Protestant) Christianity. In Islam, it is largely magical; yes, imams might really study it with the aim of understanding nad applying it, but for ordinary Muslims it’s enough to possess and recite it (like a talisman) even with zero, or next to zero, understanding. (2) Muslims are definitely not “People of the Book” in the same sense as Christians, because their tradition says that “the Book” has been comprehensively corrupted by later Christian transcribers and translators, so that whatever it says that is inconsistent with the Quran or the Haddith is considered inauthentic; so they’re at most “People of Part of the Book.”

  20. Peter Vanden Bosch says:

    “Christians are called to show compassion to the Muslim – not because of our shared theology, but because of our shared humanity.” – I like this very much. But the idea that Jews and Muslims worship a different God is relativist (unless you’d like to claim that Muslims and Jews are idolators) and inconsistent. There is one God, and if we are worshiping the one God, however misguidedly, it must be the same God.

    Another argument: if Jews don’t worship the same God as us, when did they stop? Scripture certainly makes it clear they were worshiping God at one point. Did they stop when Jesus was born? When He died? After the First Council of Nicaea?

    It’s a whole lot more consistent if we acknowledge what seems clear and what Sura 2 states: we all worship the same God, however imperfectly. He is big enough to share, after all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *