CONFRONTING ISLAMOPHOBIA at WHEATON – A talk with student activist, Esther Kao [LDT056]

Wheaton College student Esther Kao (far right) and other supporters of Larycia Hawkins demonstrate
Wheaton College student Esther Kao (far right) and other supporters of Larycia Hawkins demonstrate

Back in December, and continuing through January, Wheaton College, an Evangelical College in Chicago, was in the news because an associate professor in Political Science, Dr. Larycia Hawkins began wearing a Muslim hijab, or head covering, on the campus as her act of solidarity with Muslims around the world and to combat Islamophobia for the forty days of Advent. Later, on Facebook, she explained her decision with this statement:

“I stand in religious 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. … As part of my Advent Worship, I will wear the hijab to work at Wheaton College, to play in Chi-town, in the airport and on the airplane to my home state that initiated one of the first anti-Sharia laws (read: unconstitutional and Islamophobic), and at church.”

Saying that Muslims and Christians worship the same God caused a major uproar on the Wheaton campus, which ended in her, apparently permanent, suspension.

My guest today is Wheaton Sophomore, Esther Kao who was one of the activist that led protests demanding Dr. Hawkins’ reinstatement. We talked about the facts o

Assoc. Prof. Lyricia Hawkins
Assoc. Prof. Lyricia Hawkins

f the case, the meaning of the statements that Dr. Hawkins made, and the involvement of the student body in the controversy.

So let’s go to the interview with Wheaton student, Esther Kao, on Love in a Dangerous Time.



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