Muslim students complained that a Minnesota liberal arts professor displayed historical depictions of Muhammad during a class on Islamic art.
According to the Hamline Oracle, an unidentified professor at Hamline University in St. Paul stoked outrage in October by showing paintings of Muhammad dating back to the 1300s and 1500s.
Islam considers depictions of its prophet to be blasphemous.
According to the campus outlet, the Muslim Student Association president, Aram Wedatalla, informed university administrators about the incident the next day.
Wedatalla told the Oracle, “I was like, ‘This can’t be real.’ I do not feel that I belong as a Muslim or a Black person to a community where they do not value me as a member and do not show the respect I do.”
The Hamline University’s associate vice president of inclusive excellence, David Everett, emailed students on Nov. 7 regarding the incident and described it as “undeniably inconsiderate, disrespectful and Islamophobic.” He also announced that the professor had been fired.
Everett concluded that it would be best if this faculty member were no longer a member of the Hamline community due to this incident.
According to the Oracle, Everett’s email also stated that the university had to determine whether the professor’s conduct was a “hate crime” before administrators could decide whether or not it was an “act of intolerance.”
President of the student newspaper, Aram Wedatalla, stated in an email to the student newspaper that “my perspective and actions have been lamentably mischaracterized, and that my due process rights have been violated,” adding that Everett’s accusations of intolerance were misapplied. The Muslim Student Association informed university administrators of the incident the day after it occurred, the campus outlet reported.