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SALFORD MUSLIM FATHER FIGHTS FOR CHILDREN PLACED WITH CHRISTIAN FOSTER WORKERS
 

Star date: 4th September 2017

FATHER TOLD NOT TO DISCUSS MUSLIM RELIGION WITH HIS CHILDREN

A Muslim father from Salford has been fighting for over five years to get his three children back, after they were placed in foster care in a Christian environment outside the city.

He has been told not to discuss religion with them during contact sessions, although he has only been allowed to see them twice during the last six years. The father says he can provide a stable home but Salford City Council is intent on keeping him separated from his children, at an estimated cost of £200,000...

"I think it's a process of wanting to put children in a sanitised environment to the total and utter exclusion of what is their heritage and their identity..." he says.

Full details here...


Agreement text Court papers
click image to enlarge

Last week, the media went into overdrive about a five year old Christian child who was placed with Muslim foster workers. Here in Salford, a Muslim father is adamant that Salford City Council Children's Services is keeping his three children in a Christian environment outside the city, at an estimated cost of £200,000, and denying their cultural heritage.

An agreement the father was asked to sign states categorically that he is "not to discuss the Muslim religion" with his children during any contact sessions, while court papers state that "the local authority made clear that it does not propose to treat the children as belonging to the Muslim faith..." (see photos).

"The children were taken off their mother and put in an unfit environment" he tells the Salford Star "It's beyond racism; it's xenophobia. I think it's a total and absolute process of wanting to put children in a sanitised environment, to the total and utter exclusion of what is their heritage and their identity.

"Salford is culturally diverse, and racially and ethnically diverse, and they've been placed in a non-diverse environment" he explains "The school where they are is almost one hundred per cent white, as are the teaching staff. Their education has suffered drastically because of that, and they are no longer progressing. All three now have special education needs.

"Their environment, heritage, kinship and cultural system are all missing" he adds "How is someone who is white going to reproduce that? It's completely and utterly incompatible."

The children were taken into care in 2011, after their white mother, who had split with the father, was found taking drugs and buying and selling stolen goods. Subsequently, and unfortunately, the mother and her partner died, and the father, who has no criminal record, has been trying to get his kids back ever since.

"Islam is not about taking drugs and stolen goods, it's about a peaceful productive family life, working for your family and community" the father explains "That's all I want but they are opposed to it..."

He has been to court, unsuccessfully, 13 times since May 2013, and has had to represent himself due to the enormous cost of employing a legal team which he reckons would be around £40,000 by now.

A Family Court Judgement in 2014 stated: "I also bear in mind the father's argument that these children are black children living with white foster parents. They are also the children of a Muslim father living in a Christian home in which they are being sent to Sunday school, I was told.

"The father's case is best put by saying that the children need to have contact with their father in order to gain knowledge of their racial and ethnic origins and the Muslim religion. I find that this argument does not assist in the method of establishing contact. It does not follow that because of the issue of race and religion, there should be immediate direct contact.

"Of course, those issues may determine the need for contact" the judgement adds "but the method of establishing contact is still via a successful, indirect, sustained period of contact, as found by the District Judge."

Despite this judgement, the father alleges that Salford Children's Services has not assisted. He explains that he has sent 67 letters to the children with no response. He says that he has sent them money that hasn't been accounted for; has only seen them twice since 2011, for two hours, and the last photo he received was two years ago.

"They have not implemented any kind of telephone calls, skype, emails...nothing" he insists "It's a deliberate and pro-active plan to cut off all contact and induce parental estrangement, that's what the local authority is fixated with."

The father is convinced that the courts are working against him, alleges that judgements have been made without due process, and cites a specific instance where he was said to have assaulted a contact worker...

"I told this contact worker to stop interfering with me seeing my children" he recalls "An allegation of assault is simply an allegation. In law an assault is a specific action, which never took place, but the judge issued the order. Where are the papers for this order application?"

As the anxious father continues to try and win his children back, the last letter from Salford Council, seen by the Salford Star, states that his "behaviour is unacceptable and inappropriate" and that "Salford Council will no longer enter into any further correspondence with you". It adds that the Council has a "duty to protect all employees from vexatious or repetitious complainants".

The father has emailed Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett and Lisa Stone, the Lead Member for Children's Services, with no adequate response. Now he is trying to get the police and politicians involved.

Blackley and Broughton MP Graham Stringer has been informed, while Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, has been asked to look at the court's actions and 'intolerance to recognised religious freedom'...

"I've reported it to the police and they say they want it from a higher authority, so I've contacted Andy Burnham and everything's resting on him" he says "He strikes me as someone who is conscientious.

"I've been told not to discuss my religion with my children" he adds "That tells you quite clearly what it is about..."

The three children, now 15, 13 and 12, are still in care outside of Salford at a cost, the father estimates, of £200,000, which he adds will amount to around £800,000 if they stay in care until they are 18, which he is determined won't happen...

"I can give them a home so this is also about how much money the foster workers are making out of this system" he says "How many jobs could be provided for what it is costing to keep my children? How many teachers is that? How many homeless people could you get off the street for that? How long could that keep The Grange open for? This organisation is not fit for purpose..."


Salford Council does not respond to requests for comments by the Salford Star.

The family has been kept anonymous within this article to protect the children.

Michael James Felse wrote
at 3:52:28 AM on Tuesday, September 5, 2017
I had a hard childhood upbringing but believe all children should first of all be raised by a family member. A 2020 total overhaul of Salford Children in-care services can save us £45million. Enough to solve the high rise tower blocks safety problem, to instal a new professional fast response parental guidance centre in Eccles to be serve City wide emergency needs and £10million into a post Brexit inward investment service making Salford the North West investment hub for jobs, services, housing and devolution. It is time to invest heavily in our new generation bringing 20,000 of youth inspired enterprise jobs into Salford instead of old sets of pensioners trying to kick around more of the same failed ideas.
 
Human rights? wrote
at 2:19:08 AM on Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Are the council going against article 8 and 9 of the Human Rights Act? Article 8 Respect for your private and family life, home and correspondence Article 9 Freedom of thought, belief and religion
 
Paula Pangolin wrote
at 2:19:01 AM on Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Someone who follows a foreign religion can hardly complain when their children are educated in the Official English state religion when placed in English State care. This is still a Christian country, after all...
 
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