A devout Muslim father has been told he cannot discuss Islam with his three children in a ‘pressurising’ way.
The children are currently being cared for by a Christian foster family. They were taken into care following the loss of their mother, who died as a result of drug and alcohol abuse. The biological parents had a “volatile” relationship and fought each other for care of the children. The mother won this battle shortly before her death.
Despite the father’s numerous efforts to regain care of his children, he has so far been unsuccessful. The three youngsters have reportedly claimed they would prefer to remain with their Christian foster family. The father was eventually able to gain the right to have supervised contact with them, but was ordered “not to discuss the Muslim religion” in any way during his visits.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News the father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims he agreed to this condition simply because he was desperate to see his children. He insisted he had been a victim of “xenophobia and bigotry” and the fact that his two sons and daughter have said they want to stay where they are is an example of Stockholm Syndrome. The foster family were “obviously feeding all kinds of ridiculous propaganda to my children and this is the end result” he told the newspaper.
In his latest of 13 trips to the Manchester Family Court, the father was told “the local authority has made it clear that it does not propose to treat the children as belonging to the Muslim faith”. However the Court did soften its restriction on him talking to them about it, ruling that “the father may supply relevant information to them about his faith or discuss his beliefs with them in a non-pressurising way during future contact”.
This situation is almost the exact inverse of a controversial case which made national headlines earlier this year when a child from a Christian background was placed with a Muslim foster family.
Photo by Tomi Knuutila via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.