‘Tearful’ Minnesota university student explains the ‘pain’ of seeing an image of Mohammed for the first time

Image via YouTube

SPEAKING at a press conference, Hamline University senior Aram Wedatalla explained why a 14th-century painting depicting the “prophet” Mohammed had so upset her.

I was shocked with a professor who gave me a trigger warning before proceeding to disrespect my religion.

The painting that sparked the row. Image courtesy of Edinburgh University Library, Scotland (Wikipedia CC.)

Wedatalla said she had never in her life seen a painting of the prophet. The event, she said, was “painful, for me, my family and my community.”

On January 6, we revealed that the adjunct professor—Erika López Prater—who showed the painting to students after issuing a prior warning that she intending do so, would not have her contract renewed after Wedatalla had complained to the university’s administration.

Image via Hamline University

Hamline’s President, Fayneese Miller, above, shamefully agreed that the display of the painting was:

Undeniably inconsiderate, disrespectful and Islamophobic.

At the start of the press conference last Wednesday organised by the Minneapolis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the first speaker described the professor’s action as “sacrilegious”— and should be seen as “hate speech.”

Now here a thing. Three days after the press conference CAIR Minnesota’s parent organisation, whilst reaffirmed its longstanding policy of discouraging the display of images of the “prophet”, noted 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 Prater had bigoted intent or engaged in Islamophobic conduct in the classroom.

Hamline faces a blowback

According to Religion News, CAIR’s official statement adds to those made by other Islamic organisations such as the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), which said it supported the instructor and called on the university to “reverse its decision and to take compensatory action to ameliorate the situation.” 

MPAC was clear:

The painting was not Islamophobic. In fact, it was commissioned by a fourteenth-century Muslim king in order to honor the Prophet, depicting the first Quranic revelation from the angel Gabriel. 

Other groups, such as the Middle East Studies Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression and PEN America, have also objected to the university’s apparent violation of academic freedom.

And more than 16,000 people have signed a petition calling for the instructor to be reinstated.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression filed a formal complaint with Hamline’s accreditor, accusing the university of violating its own academic freedom policies. 

Furthermore, over 40 faculty signed a letter to Hamline’s board of trustees saying they were “gravely concerned” about the absence of effective, functional and strategic leadership.

In a statement Miller said she wanted to correct the record. She insisted that the decision to not renew the instructor’s contract was not made by her but at the “unit level.” 

Which, to my mind, suggests that not only should she resign, but the entire administration. They are not fit for purpose. And Prater should be immediately reinstated.

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12 responses to “‘Tearful’ Minnesota university student explains the ‘pain’ of seeing an image of Mohammed for the first time”

  1. The sacking of the professor shows that giving credence to religious believers by acting on their claims cuts us off from even a semblance of reality. That isn’t a painting of Mohammed. It’s a painting a 14th century painter imagined Mohammed to be like. He could have painted something looking quite different and called it Mohammed with the same result.

    That a petty, self righteous, snivelling student, conjuring up her “pain”, should have so unjustly got the professor sacked is an abomination. The professor should be given her job back, and substantial compensation, for her pain. The Board who made the decision are unfit to be in charge and they should be sacked.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. What a farce; paintings of Mohammad have existed for nearly one thousand years, my daughter has seen the collection at the University of Edinburgh.
    The best illustration is the realistic image of Mohammed piloting his flying horse from Mecca to Jerusalem and back via the heavens – I have asked flightradar24.com to provide flight tracking for 621 CE, they have informed me that I need to provide a date and time because of the huge number of flight tracks by prophets, horses, angels and the even larger number of flying pigs!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Where did she feel the pain, and, on a scale of 1 to 10, how severe was it?

    I wonder where those of us who experience distress when confronted with such nonsense can apply for compensation?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have felt the pain every day for eighty years; as a devout nullifidian, the pain that I feel is caused by the religious bigots who believe that they should be able to indoctrinate school children with their religious fantasies.
      Is it any surprise that, by the age of eighteen, approximately 80% of those gullible young minds have woken up and realised the paucity of religious doctrine and consigned it as vilest of trash into the dustbin of history.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I should have mentioned that the 80% of eighteen year-olds rejecting religion are in the UK, their atheism is slowly crossing the pond!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. To feel “pain” at that sketchy “painting” you would have to be mentally ill. I don’t think she is. What seems much more likely is that the claim to feel pain is phony. It seems like an attempt to seek sympathy and to enjoy a bit of attention. By her whining she has succeeded as a result of the School Board being so gullible. The positive aspect of this has been the critical reaction. The victim in all this nonsense is the teacher who has been sacked. I wonder if she can sue the school for her being sacked for no reason?

        Liked by 2 people

  4. “Certifiable idiot explains the ‘pain’ of seeing an image of Mohammed for the first time”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Stephen, the more bizarre are the claims of a religious dogma, the more are the ‘certifiable idiots’ who subscribe: the indisputable proof is Sciencelessology, Moronism and Jehovah Witlesses who lead the field in absolute stupidity, hot on their heels are Shinto, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism and all of the remaining 2,000 cults constructed by human fantasists.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Except that she’s lying!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lying is the modus operandi of her and her fellow travellers.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. My reply to Stephen has disappeared, perhaps it has been redirected to hell.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oops!


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