Muslim Public Affairs Council Statement of Support for Hamline Professor Who Showed Muhammad Paintings
From the statement:
It is with great concern that the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) views the firing of an art professor, Erika López Prater, from Hamline University on the grounds of showing a fourteenth-century painting depicting the Prophet Muḥammad. We issue this statement of support for the professor and urge the university to reverse its decision and to take compensatory action to ameliorate the situation.
News sources report that the matter reached the university administration after a Muslim student complained to them about the professor showing the image in class. Subsequently, undergraduate students at the university received an email from the administration declaring the incident to be “undeniably inconsiderate, disrespectful and Islamophobic.” Because the professor was hired as an adjunct, her contract was not renewed and she was effectively fired.
As a Muslim organization, we recognize the validity and ubiquity of an Islamic viewpoint that discourages or forbids any depictions of the Prophet, especially if done in a distasteful or disrespectful manner. However, we also recognize the historical reality that other viewpoints have existed and that there have been some Muslims, including and especially Shīʿī Musl
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