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A Hamline adjunct showed a picture of the Prophet Muhammad. She lost her job.


Ms. Wedatalla declined an interview request and did not explain why she did not raise concerns before the image was shown. But in an emailed statement, she said images of the Prophet Muhammad should never be shown and that Dr. Lopez Prater had issued a trigger warning precisely because she knew such images were offensive to many Muslims. The lecture was so disturbing, she said, that she could no longer see it in that course.

Four days after the class, Dr. Lopez Prater was called into a video conference with College of Liberal Arts Dean Marcela Kostihova.

Dr. Kostihova compared showing the image to using a racial epithet for black people, according to Dr. Lopez Prater.

“It was very clear to me that she didn’t talk to art historians,” Dr. Lopez Prater said.

A few weeks later, the university rescinded his offer to teach the following semester.

Dr. Lopez Prater said she is ready to move on. She had a teaching job in other schools. But on Nov. 7, David Everett, vice president for inclusive excellence, sent an email to all university employees saying certain actions taken in an online class were “undoubtedly inconsiderate, disrespectful and Islamophobic.”

The administration, after meeting with the school’s Muslim Student Association, will host an open forum “on the topic of Islamophobia,” he wrote.

Dr. Lopez Prater, who had only started teaching at Hamline in the fall, said she felt like a bucket of ice water had been dumped on her head, but the shock soon gave way to “a burst of anger that someone would characterize her that way way whom I have never met or spoken to.” She reached out to Dr. Gruber, who ended up writing the essay and starting the petition.


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