28 March 2013
The Spanish Government is prepared to amend the law of adoption to assure that the Guardianship of Alawites minors granted to Spanish families do not become full adoptions under Spanish law.
This guardianship system – typical of Islamic countries – involves a commitment to take charge of the protection, education and maintenance of an abandoned child, but does not confer the right to descent or succession. Moroccan legislation imposes on the families a series of requirements, such as their commitment to respect the child’s full name, nationality or religion until adulthood.
“What the Moroccan authorities really want, explains El-Otmani, the Morrocan Minister of Foreign Affairsis is a mechanism that will enable them to track how that child is doing”; that allows them to “control, verify that the child has a normal situation in education, psychology and health” culturally and religiously speaking, he adds.
Refugee children from Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are being resettled here. Muslim couples who can’t conceive want to adopt but don’t want to violate their faith’s teachings. State child welfare agencies that permanently remove Muslim children from troubled homes usually can’t find Muslim families to adopt them because of the restrictions in Islamic law.
The prohibition against adoption would appear contrary to the Quran’s heavy emphasis on helping orphans. The Prophet Muhammad’s father died before his son was born, so the boy’s grandfather and uncle served as his guardians, setting an example for all Muslims to follow.
However, Islamic scholars say the restrictions were actually meant to protect children, by ending abuses in pre-Islamic Arabic tribal society. Advocates for a new interpretation of Islamic law are more hopeful, at least about the prospect for a different approach to the issue in the United States. Mattson argues that the flexibility in Islamic law for accommodating local cultures and customs can lead to a solution.
“Ukraine is a European country and the Muslims of Ukraine are part of the Muslim European community,” according to the head of the Federation of Islamic Organizations of Europe (FIOE) — yet another way in which the people of Ukraine are underscoring their attachment to Europe rather than Eurasia.
During a visit to the Islamic Cultural Center in Kyiv last week, Shakib Benmakhlyuf, FIOE president, not only stressed the Europeanness of Ukraine and of Ukraine’s Muslims but “positively assessed” both the speed of Islamic rebirth there and “the public activity” of Islamic community there.
In response, Mufti Said Ismagilov, the head of the Muslim Spiritual Directorate (MSD) of Ukraine, said his community would like to expand its cooperation with FIOE and that he and the Muslims of Ukraine believe that the recent adoption of the Charter of Muslims of Europe can promote more active ties among European countries.
Moroccan authorities were happy for boy to make a home in Britain but officials in Surrey were not so sure.
When Robert and Jo Garofalo decided they wanted to adopt a child in Morocco they knew it would not be easy. Although the law in the Muslim state had been changed to allow foreign adoptions, the couple were required to convert to Islam first. But in the end it was not the Moroccan authorities that proved the biggest hurdle for the film director and his wife — it was their own local social services. For three months, during which Mrs Garofalo lived with their adopted son in a rented flat in Tangier, the couple were subjected to a series of what they believe were unecessarily harsh and intrusive interviews in which every aspect of their lives was scrutinised. Finally they were approved and were able to bring young Samuel back to their home, where he has thrived. So when, earlier this year, they approached Surrey social services for approval to adopt again from the same Moroccan orphanage, they were surprised to discover that they would have to go through the whole process again. The couple were particularly concerned that, in order to assess Samuel’s “attachment” to them, he would have to be monitored and even filmed while playing. Equally disconcerting was that even though social workers indicated in an initial report that they would be prepared to support the second application, the couple were left with the impression that they were being asked to do more to show they were living a Muslim lifestyle. “The Moroccan orphanage felt it would be good for Samuel to have a brother and were very positive and encouraging. They were happy with the way we dealt with Samuel’s cultural and religious needs,” Mrs Garofalo, a 40-year-old actress, said. But this was not enough for Surrey, who made clear that an assessment would go ahead only if the couple proved that they were making enough effort to live a Muslim lifestyle. In their report, social workers noted that although the couple had stated their religion was Islam “there is no outward sign that this is a Muslim family . . . Joanne and Robert are aware that the socio-religious element is an aspect of Samuel’s identity and heritage which this agency takes very seriously.” It recommended that “particular attention be given to sharing techniques and strategies with Joanne and Robert that will enhance their children’s sense of identity and legacy, particularly in view of their very public statement they made deciding to convert to Islam in order to adopt”. Rachel Kaufman reports.
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Hundreds of Egyptian minors are being held in detention in Italy, according to the Egyptian government. There are 520 Egyptian minors among the illegal immigrants in temporary Italian reception centres and facing very difficult conditions” the government reportedly told Arab newspaper, al-Sharq al-Awsat. Italian law blocks the forced repatriation of illegal minors, as long as they want to stay in the country, in contrast to adults. A delegation of officials from Egypt is interviewing the minors one by one checking their identity, informing their families, and hoping to convince them to return home. However, according to the newspaper, since authorities have held the minorities for such a long time, they should be eligible for foster care and eventual adoption by Italian families.
The Archbishop of Lyon, cardinal Philippe Barbarin, and representants of the Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Orthodox and Armenian cults signed a text that asserts the sustainable nature of the marriage: “it is important to have clear ideas about this key-point of reference for humanity. Experiences show that we pay the price for the destruction of nature. We don’t have to destroy humanity anymore, which is at the heart of the creation”. ‘ As for adoption, signatories denouce the lie that remains in the assertment that “it is indifferent for a child to grow up with or without a father or a mother”. ‘ ‘ This document constitutes the first interreligious declaration on this matter.