The board of directors at Hamline University has announced president Fayneese Miller’s upcoming retirement. She leaves in disgrace after kowtowing to Muslim students, as well as to the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and caving under the usual “Islamophobia” battering ram. In early February, Hamline University in Minnesota made the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression’s (FIRE) top ten list for worst colleges in America for the freedom speech, after a Hamline adjunct professor, Erika López Prater, was fired for showing a fourteenth-century painting of Muhammad to her class on Islamic art. A brouhaha ensued after a Muslim student lodged a complaint about this display, saying that the “artwork violated her religious beliefs.” The student added: “I’m 23 years old. I have never once seen an image of the prophet.” Miller “initially defended” the college’s decision to not renew Erika López Prater’s contract.
On January 11, CAIR-Minnesota also called a news conference, where the student explained that she “felt marginalized.” The executive director of CAIR-MN, Jaylani Hussein, surrounded at the podium by Muslim leaders and imams, discussed what he called the many forms of “Islamophobia” that Muslims must endure in America, from insults to physical attacks. Hussein then zeroed in on Hamline in the context of “Islamophobia” that can supposedly be found on campuses all over the country:
The recent incident at Hamline University where an art instructor displayed an image of our beloved Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him which we as Muslims consider sacrilegious and hate speech and hurtful to the Muslim community. Muslim scholars across the world over time have condemned the display of images of our beloved prophet Muhammed, may peace be upon him, and it is not only hateful and forbidden but it also goes to attack the core beliefs of our faith.
Hussein also discussed CAIR’s visit to Muslim students and its staff at Hamline, where he conducted a “diversity and inclusion presentation.” By now, these words have completely lost their meaning. Hussein also opportunistically zeroed in on what he called “the anti-blackness” Miller has allegedly faced at Hamline from her colleagues. Whenever Islamic supremacists rise up, they usually drag in other groups in an effort to disguise their agenda; instead of “Islamophobia” alone, one hears about anti-black racism, antisemitism or insults to other religions.
The outcome, as the Daily Mail reported it: “The university, bending to the demands of the Muslim association, called the incident ‘Islamophobic.’”
Yet after all this groveling, cowering, and obvious anxiety about offending Muslims, something odd happened. CAIR, soon after its visit to Hamline, issued a statement:
CAIR reaffirmed its longstanding policy of discouraging the display of images of the Prophet while also noting that the academic study of ancient paintings depicting him does not, by itself, constitute Islamophobia. CAIR also said that it has seen “no evidence” that former Hamline University professor Erika Lopez Prater had bigoted intent or engaged in Islamophobic conduct in the classroom.
CAIR’s followup was mysterious, given its initial response. Perhaps this stealth organization realized that it had moved too quickly and would draw too much adverse attention to its motives if it proceeded any further with the “Islamophobia” claims regarding Hamline. CAIR already knows it has the sympathies of the woke whenever the Muslim community claims to be offended, but to force the firing of a 23-year-old instructor who had no intention of hurting anyone’s feelings could have drawn unwanted attention to the organization’s real motives, that is, its imperative to impose Sharia tenets, as revealed in Hussein’s words: “the display of images of our beloved prophet Muhammed, may peace be upon him, and it is not only hateful and forbidden but it also goes to attack the core beliefs of our faith.”
Whatever the reason, this case shouldn’t come down to what CAIR or any Islamic lobby thinks and decides. The Sharia, despite what any of its adherents might think, does not supersede American law, or the law of any free country. The freedom of expression is the unalienable right of Americans, even as woke leaders are endeavoring to strip it away at the highest levels.
After an outcry and a lawsuit filed by Erika López Prater, the school backtracked. The majority of faculty members (72 of 90) also called for Miller’s resignation for harming the university’s reputation. Kudos to the faculty. Enough is enough.
The incident illustrated two important points: the level that Islamic supremacist groups will go to shove Sharia tents down the throats of Westerners, and the fact that America still has a fight left in it. The backtracking of Hamline was an affront and an embarrassment to its president, as well as to CAIR and its lackeys.
Miller is now set to retire in disgrace. Of course, those behind the scenes who supported the university’s treatment of López Prater remain comfortably anonymous.
The Hamline incident is an indicator of just how far Sharia tenets have already encroached upon Western society. Those who willingly allow the trampling of our freedoms are the enemies of freedom. They are the ones who deserve marginalization, not freedom supporters and truth tellers.
Too many Western leaders have wrongly and manipulatively branded criticism of and insults to Islam as “hate” in order to appease aggressive, supremacist lobbies, and are now behaving in the same way toward the transgender lobby.