Muslim leaders lobby in Springfield
Muslim leaders from the Chicago area cited the controversy at Wheaton College over Professor Larycia Hawkins in backing two measures Tuesday in Springfield.
The state Senate approved a measure supported by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago to name April 19 as "Illinois Muslim Action Day." Members of the group also lobbied to reinstate the legislature's Muslim American Advisory Council and said they hope to counteract rhetoric and threats against Muslims.
"The positive aspect of this hate campaign has been that there are many, many religious leaders who have come out and said how they stand in solidarity with Muslims," council Chairman Mohammed Kaiseruddin said. "I'm sure everyone knows about Dr. Larycia Hawkins, at Wheaton College, who really sacrificed her job to stand in solidarity with Muslims."
Wheaton College placed professor Hawkins, a Christian, on leave after she said Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Hawkins and the college later said they'd agreed to part ways, and she has joined the faculty at the University of Virginia.