Christian child forced into Muslim foster care in London

Tower Hamlets is one of the most diverse parts of the country
Credit
Rex

I'm not suggesting that no Muslim foster family should ever care for a child of another religion - I would, for instance, trust members of the eirenic Ahmadiyya Muslim community to respect the sensibilities of other faiths.

Placement into foster care is undoubtedly traumatic for any child.

When contacted by The Times, Tower Hamlets refused to explain why it had chosen to place a white English-speaking Christian child with Muslim non-English-speaking foster families.

"She's already suffered the huge trauma of being forcibly separated from her family", the family friend continued.

A leading Imam has condemned the reported actions of a foster family in Tower Hamlets.

Their London home, where she lives with her mum, dad, brother and sister, has provided care and affection to around 60 children over a quarter of a decade.

The Tower Hamlets Borough Council would not respond to requests for comment. The children's services were deemed inadequate by Ofsted.

In 2011, it was reported a 31-year-old Asian woman who worked in a local chemist's had received death threats for refusing to wear a veil, even though she was not a practising Muslim. What if the child was served a ham dinner on Easter Sunday - and encouraged to sing "Jesus Loves Me"?

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"I'm not going to lie - it can be incredibly challenging and stressful", she says, recalling one child who had to be taken to A&E almost every day for one thing or another.

He said: "The issue also is not whether or not the family was Muslim".

Nevertheless, the child absorbed some lessons from her new families. The transition from one home to another - sometimes multiple homes - can cause anxiety and feelings of instability.

A spokesman for the council told the newspaper that its fostering service "provides a loving, stable home for hundreds of children every year" - adding "absolute consideration" is given to each child's background and cultural identity.

Esmat's family speak a mix of English and Gujarati, but when foster children are with them, they stick to English.

The five-year-old in Tower Hamlets was allegedly told to remove her crucifix and was forbidden from eating carbonara because it contained bacon. "She was born in this country, speaks English as her first language, loves football, holds a British passport and was christened in a church", a friend of the child's biological family told The Times.

It begs the question: Is this little girl being made an example of for political purposes - and are her needs and best interests being put aside for this reason? She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

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