Evangelical Christian professor dons hijab because 'we worship the same God'
A professor at an evangelical college in America has decided to wear a hijab for advent to show solidarity with Muslim women.
Larycia Alaine Hawkins teaches at one of the best known Christian schools in the world, Wheaton College. The associate professor announced on Facebook she will wear the hijab as part of her act of devotion because Muslims and Christians "worship the same God."
"I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book," said Hawkins in her statement.
"And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.
"But as I tell my students, theoretical solidarity is not solidarity at all. Thus, beginning tonight, my solidarity has become embodied solidarity."
Hawkins encouraged other women to join her "embodied, hijab-wearing solidarity with our Muslim sisters."
Her approach has attracted dozens of likes and supportive comments. Many other women have shared photos of themselves adopting the same act.
However in a more recent post she explained she had received criticism "almost exclusively from other Christians."
She said her position was "one held for centuries by countless Christians (church fathers, saints, and regular Christian folk like)" and insisted that "asserting our religious solidarity with Muslims and Jews will go a long way toward quelling religious violence and enervating religionist fear of the religious other."
"Being at peace with everyone means embracing you virtually and asking for forgiveness of those I have offended," she continued.
"It doesn't matter that I did not intend to do so. What matters is the imperative that I move first to make peace with others. As far as it depends on you, will you accept my holy handshake?"
Hawkins' gesture has been welcomed by the council on American-Islamic relations and comes after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States.