On Monday, LU reported on an outrageous story out of the UK. It centers on a five-year-old girl who was placed in foster care with a Muslim family that promptly removed the cross she routinely wore as a devout Christian. She was also told to learn Arabic, which is the preferred language in that household, and denied certain foods because they were haram, or forbidden.
Luckily, the story generated enough backlash that a judge overturned the placement decision by the council of Tower Hamlets, a borough of London, and sent the child to stay with her grandmother.
According to the Times of London via the Daily Mail:
Judge Khatun Sapnara, a Muslim, told the council it was in the girl’s best interests to live with a family member who could keep her safe, promote her welfare and meet her needs ‘in terms of ethnicity, culture and religion.’…
The judge further urged the council to seek “culturally matched placements” for vulnerable children in the future.
Friends of the girl’s family told the newspaper they were hugely relieved by the decision to remove her from placements where everything was ‘foreign and unfamiliar’ into surroundings where she would feel ‘much more at home’.
The girl’s parents(??) were said to have pleaded with the scandal-hit council to allow the child to live with friends or relatives, but officials had opposed their plans to place her into the temporary care of her grandmother.
It is unclear what led the council to place the child in a “foreign and unfamiliar” setting in the first place. The family has stated it was never their wish to have the child live in a household that refused to respect her beliefs. But it was more insidious than simply that. During a visit with her parents, the little girl is said to have told her mother that “Christmas and Easter are stupid” and “European women are stupid and alcoholic.”
Judge Sapnara has ordered the Tower Hamlets council to conduct an internal investigation into how this placement occurred.