Hamline University has been eviscerated for pandering to students' whims and tossing out seasoned professionals by firing a professor for showing an image of the Prophet Muhammad in an online art history class.
Professor Erika Lopez Prater was fired by the university in Minnesota and had her class dubbed 'Islamophobic' in an astonishing rebuke after several students complained.
On October 6, Prater was teaching an online class about Islamic art that was part of a wider curriculum on world art. She chose a 14th-century depiction of the angel Gabriel delivering the Prophet's first revelation.
Conscious that in some branches of Islam it is blasphemous to look at any image of the Prophet, Professor Prater gave students two minutes to look away from the screen or log out before she projected the image onto her presentation.
Aram Wedatalla, a student who is also the president of the university's Muslim association, chose to remain online in the class. She then complained to school officials that the image 'blindsided' her and made her feel marginalized.
Despite being told by department head Allison Baker that she had done 'everything right', Prater was fired after more students - including some who were not in the class - complained.
The students viewed it as a victory.
'Hamline teaches us it doesn't matter the intent, the impact is what matters,' student DeAngela Huddleston told the school newspaper The Oracle.
But there is growing outrage among other professors and supporters of Prater who say she was unfairly punished to appease students' whims.
Among them is Amna Khalid, Associate Professor of History at Carleton College.
In an essay for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Khalid - who is Muslim - argued that Hamline betrayed students by bending to allow only one view to exist - that of the complaining student.
'This case offends me on many levels... As a professor, I am appalled by the senior administration's decision to dismiss the instructor and pander to the students who claim to have been "harmed."
'This kind of "inclusive excellence" permits DEI administrators to ride roughshod over faculty knowledge.
'But most of all, I am offended as a Muslim. In choosing to label this image of Muhammad as Islamophobic, in endorsing the view that figurative representations of the Prophet are prohibited in Islam, Hamline has privileged a most extreme and conservative Muslim point of view.
'The administrators have flattened the rich history and diversity of Islamic thought.
'Their insistence that figurative representations of Muhammad are "forbidden for Muslims to look upon" runs counter to historical and contemporary evidence,' she wrote.
There is also a Change.org petition in support of the fired professor which has gained 7,000 signatures.
The petition calls on the university to launch an independent investigation and says it fired Prater without giving her the right to 'due process'.
Prater has not commented on the scandal.
After the incident in October, the university's associate vice president for inclusive excellence, referred to the lesson as 'undeniably Islamophobic' in an interview with the student newspaper.
'It was decided it was best that this faculty member was no longer part of the Hamline community,' he said.
It remains unclear if Allison Baker, the department head who agreed with Prater and told her she'd done 'everything right', remains in her position.
Hamline University did not respond to inquiries regarding criticism of the decision when contacted by DailyMail.com.
Instead, a spokesman referred back to a December statement on the issue.
'Hamline University is composed of people with diverse views, expectations, and interactions. Our community, like many in higher education, is comprised of people with different lived experiences, including religious beliefs and traditions.
'We, as an institution, acknowledge the diversity among us and are committed to creating an environment of respect and care for each other.
'As has been reported, this past semester an adjunct instructor displayed images of the prophet Muhammad. Students do not relinquish their faith in the classroom.
'To look upon an image of the prophet Muhammad, for many Muslims, is against their faith.
'Questions about how best to discuss Islamic art have been raised by many academics and is certainly an issue worthy of debate and discussion.
'For those of us who have been entrusted with the responsibility of educating the next generation of leaders and engaged citizens, it was important that our Muslim students, as well as all other students, feel safe, supported, and respected both in and out of our classrooms,' a spokesman said.