The Hamline University in Minnesota, USA, has dismissed an instructor who included a painting of Prophet Mohammed in a course on Islamic arts. The action was taken after a student newspaper ‘The Oracle’ highlighted it.
After an article in the newspaper’s November 18 edition included the incident under ‘incidents of hate and discrimination’, the associate vice president of inclusive excellence of the university declared the classroom exercise ‘undeniably inconsiderate, disrespectful and Islamophobic’, said an article in New Lines Magazine.
The artwork that landed the instructor into trouble depicts Prophet Muhammad receiving his first Quranic revelation. It is alleged that the painting of Prophet Muhammad is usually part of the Islamic art history classes in many universities across the world.
However, Hamline administrators termed the classroom exercise as hateful, intolerant and Islamophobic. They quoted the fact that Islam prohibits figural representation of Prophet Mohammed and the painting hurt the feeling of the Muslims.
The painting has been termed ‘Islamophobic’. Islamophobia is a term used to describe the fear of, hatred of, or prejudice against Islam or Muslims in general. Some scholars even consider it as a form of xenophobia.
Hamline University is a private liberal arts college in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It was founded in 1854. The university has the college of Liberal Arts, School of Education, School of Business, and the Creative Writing Programs.