Image of Prophet Muhammad shown in Hamline University art class, sparking discussions on academic freedom – CBS Minnesota

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A battle over free speech, academic freedom and claims of Islamophobia at Hamline University is getting national attention.

An adjunct professor teaching an art history class showed an image of the Prophet Muhammad, upsetting some Muslim students on campus.

“It hurts and it breaks my heart to stand here to tell people and beg people to understand me, to feel what I feel,” said Aram Wedatalla, president of the Muslim Student Association at Hamline University.

Wedatalla was in the art history class where images of the Prophet Muhammad were shown.

“I am 23 years old. I’ve never seen a picture of the Prophet, never in my whole entire life, and it breaks my heart that a professor who is supposed to be my role model, show a picture of the Prophet with a trigger warning,” she said.

Dr. Erika López Prater, an adjunct professor at Hamline, says she had previously warned students in the syllabus and in class that images of holy figures, including the Prophet Muhammad and the Buddha, would be presented. Wedatalla went to University administration and expressed her concerns.

Dr. López Prater was allowed to finish the semester teaching, but her contract was not renewed.

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For responses from CLARITy Coalition members to this story, see here and here.