An adjunct professor at Minnesota’s Hamline University, Erika López-Prater, has been sacked after showing paintings of Prophet Muhammad, PBUH, to students during a lecture.
According to the report, a senior in her class had complained to the university’s administration over the image.
The complainant, Aram Wedatalla, told a school newspaper in December that she had felt disrespected.
“I’m like, ‘This can’t be real,’ she said.
Ms Wedatalla, who hails from Sudan, added that she couldn’t ever be a part of a community where her values are not respected.
“As a Muslim and a black person, I don’t feel like I belong, and I don’t think I’ll ever belong in a community where they don’t value me as a member, and they don’t show the same respect that I show them,” she added.
While defending herself, the 42-year-old female lecturer said she took many precautions before showing a 14th-century painting of the prophet to a global art history class, according to The New York Times report.
Ms Prater said she had warned in her syllabus that images of holy figures, including the prophet and the Buddha, would be shown in the course.
She also asked students to contact her with any concerns, but no one did.
Before showing the image in class, she was reported to have warned students that the painting would be displayed in a few minutes, in case anyone wanted to leave.
She then displayed the image in class.
Ms Prater also showed a second image from the 16th century, which depicted the prophet wearing a veil.
She was subsequently let go from her teaching position.
“I do not want to present the art of Islam as something that is monolithic,” Ms López Prater was quoted as saying to the outlet.
She claimed she had been shown the image herself as a graduate student.