Hamline University has received considerable backlash for not renewing the employment of a scholar who showed an allegedly “Islamophobic” image of the Prophet Muhammad during an art history class. The university did so, even though the adjunct professor gave ample warnings before and during the class that the image would be shown.
According to an email sent to faculty and students co-signed by the university’s president, respect for Muslim students “should have superseded academic freedom.”
This is dangerous, particularly for Muslims. By internalizing religious blasphemy norms Hamline has not only repudiated academic freedom, but also played into the hands of religious fundamentalists whose main victims are the very Muslims that Hamline says it wants to protect.
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