CHICAGO (CBS) — A Wheaton College professor who recently started wearing a hijab in a show of support for Muslims, has been suspended by the evangelical Christian school, after stating on Facebook that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

Tenured associate professor Larycia Hawkins is a Christian, but wrote on Facebook on Dec. 10 that she decided to wear a hijab during Advent to stand in solidarity with Muslims and what they’ve endured in this country.

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“I love my Muslim neighbor because s/he deserves love by virtue of her/his human dignity. I stand in human solidarity with my Muslim neighbor because we are formed of the same primordial clay, descendants of the same cradle of humankind–a cave in Sterkfontein, South Africa that I had the privilege to descend into to plumb the depths of our common humanity in 2014,” she wrote. “They, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

Hawkins was placed on administrative leave Tuesday, but the school has said it did not suspend her for wearing a hijab, but due to “significant questions regarding the theological implications of statements that Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Larycia Hawkins has made about the relationship of Christianity to Islam.”

In a separate statement on the college’s website, the college said while it values a debate about critical issues, and celebrates religious liberty, it believes “some recent faculty statements have generated confusion about complex theological matters, and could be interpreted as failing to reflect the distinctively Christian theological identity of Wheaton College.”

“While Islam and Christianity are both monotheistic, we believe there are fundamental differences between the two faiths, including what they teach about God’s revelation to humanity, the nature of God, the path to salvation, and the life of prayer,” the school said.

Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Hawkins addressed the media – and took questions at the Chicago Temple in the Loop.

Asked why she thinks Wheaton College suspended her, she responded, “I think Wheaton takes very seriously its role as a Christian liberal arts institution, and I think Wheaton feels it’s doing its job on behalf of the constituency it serves, and I respect the institution.”

Hawkins said she will not remove her hijab until after Christmas. Standing behind her were several ministers and students and former students at Wheaton, who called on the college administration to immediately reinstate Hawkins.

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On the Wheaton College campus Wednesday, some 40 students and alumni gathered to demand that Hawkins, known as “Doc Hawk,” be reinstated.

They chanted and prayed, then went inside and presented a letter to college president Philip Ryken.

“We believe the college acted out of reaction, of fear rather than reason,” said graduate Clara Kent.

“Jesus Christ called us to love our brothers and sisters and that’s what Doctor Hawkins is trying to do,” said student Matthew Adams.

And there were counter protestors.

“This is not anything against Muslims,” said student Nathan Simon. “It’s just simply saying that we do not worship the same god as Muslims.”

On Facebook, Hawkins said she has received pushback for wearing the hijab, but “exclusively from other Christians.

“My wearing of the hijab as an act of advent devotion has certainly caused some to question the sincerity of my devotion. To those who question the authenticity of my faith, I love you,” she wrote.

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She also said she sought input from the Council on American Islamic Relations before wearing a hijab, to make sure a non-Muslim wearing the hijab would not be seen as patronizing or offensive by Muslims.