July 18, 2024

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Hamlin’s assistant showed him a painting of the Prophet Muhammad. She lost her job.

Hamlin’s assistant showed him a painting of the Prophet Muhammad.  She lost her job.

Ms. Wedatallah refused to be interviewed, and did not explain why she did not raise her concerns before showing the photo. But in an emailed statement, she said that images of the Prophet Muhammad should never be shown, and that Dr. Lopez-Prater gave the warning precisely because she knew such images were offensive to many Muslims. She said the lecture was so unpleasant that she no longer saw herself in that course.

After four days of dismissal, Dr. López-Prater was summoned to a videoconference with the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Marcela Kostejová.

Dr. Kostihova compared showing the image to using a racial epithet for black people, according to Dr. Lopez-Prater.

“It was very clear to me that she had not spoken to any art historian,” said Dr. López-Prater.

Two weeks later, the university rescinded her offer to teach the next semester.

Dr. Lopez-Prater said she is ready to move on. She has had teaching jobs at other schools. But on November 7, David Everett, Vice President for Comprehensive Excellence, sent an email to all university staff, saying some of the actions in an online class were “undoubtedly inconsiderate, disrespectful, and anti-Islam.” .

He wrote that the administration, after a meeting with the school’s Muslim Student Association, would host an open forum “on the topic of Islamophobia.”

Dr. Lopez-Prater, who had only begun teaching at Hamlin University in the fall, said it felt as if a bucket of ice water had been thrown over her head, but the shock soon gave way to “sheer anger at describing in such terms someone whom I had never met or spoken to.” before “. I reached out to Dr. Gruber, who ended up writing the article and starting the petition.

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