10 year-old ‘must be educated in Islamic school’

family law

A ten year-old boy is to attend an Islamic faith school in London despite his father’s objections.

The child’s father had converted to Islam when he married the mother. However once their nine-year marriage came to an end, the man abandoned the faith. At the High Court he was described as an “Anglo-Saxon” atheist. Since the parents’ divorce, the child lived with his mother and has been raised as a Muslim.

In a previous hearing on this issue, the Family Court ruled that the boy would be “disappointed” if he was unable to go to the London-based school his mother had chosen and that his attendance would not marginalise the father.

Undeterred, the father sought to challenge this decision. His barrister explained that the child’s parents had “different world views” so he wanted his son to attend a secular school. This would provide him a “neutral” educational environment while still catering to the boy’s faith.

By contrast, the man described the school the mother wanted the boy to attend as “a school inside a mosque”. His barrister claimed the father felt “marginalised” by the mother’s choice of school and believed he would not be able to participate in his son’s education in the same way as he would at a secular institution.

The barrister said:

“We have a father who in this modern day and age tries to tell [his son] that it is OK for parents to disagree.”

However Mr Justice Baker was not convinced by the father’s argument. He dismissed the challenge after ruling that the original decision by the Family Court had been correct.

None of the family members involved in this case can be named for legal reasons.

Photo by Matty Ring via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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4 comments

John Smith - March 20, 2017 at 8:22am

Wanted unborn childrens rights!!!!
this is why this country needs pre-marriage/relationship contracts – sounds clinical but it would be much better if lots and lots of money was spent on lawyers pre-marriage/relationship than during divorce. Every business contact is meticulously drafted and has an exit clause and so should marriage/relationships. Much better for the family courts to focus on detailed pre-nups.

It is highly unlikely the father would have married the mother if he had really understood, that he is making her a promise that he cannot break under any cirucumstantces. that there is no get out clause and his future children will be raised in her faith and culture. Even eg. catholics have exactly the same duties towards their future offspiring, worse divorce is a no no for them.

Lets hope the courts apply the same rules to other faiths and cultures as well and stop the horrid practice of giving one of the parents power to change a childs hitherto religion and/or culture.

Catholics eg have the same duty of religious [culural] obligation, yet this is almost laughed off. Can anyone find any case law about other faiths or even other cultural values, like stopping a childs second language.

keith - March 20, 2017 at 1:56pm

The human race would be far better off if there was no such thing as Religion.
its a ridiculous concept of conflicting ideas that looks almost child like by design.

keith - March 20, 2017 at 2:43pm

my previous comment on this story Re islam has not been included.
so much for freedom of speech in the UK.

Cameron Paterson - March 20, 2017 at 3:35pm

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