Month: April 2019

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Jaleh is at risk of having her daughter taken from her, simply for being who she is. Read her response here:

We are a family, even though the Social Supervision considers my daughter as a task, as they have
expressed several times before.

My daughter is almost 8 years old, and she is not our biological child , although my husband and I got her
when she was about 48 hours old.

She is psychologically our child, and we are her psychological parents. We are mum and dad, we have
always been.

Legally, though, we are foster parents for our daughter. This summer she got a little brother who is
biologically ours, and there is truly no difference to us as parents, we love them both equally high.

Social Supervision – East wants to remove our daughter due to my role as a public figure, and the media
exposure of me in this context and the fact that I am accused, not formally charged or convicted, for having
shared a link to a killing video, in relation with the coverage of a terrorist attack.
We have written the following answer to Social Supervision – East.

 

To [..] and Jaleh Tavakoli                                                                                                             

March 13 2019

Social Supervision intends to terminate your approval as foster parents

Social Supervision East is according to § 7 in Law of Social Services monitoring your general approval as foster parents.  Your current approval states that you are approved to foster one child in 24-hour care.

Social Supervision East considering information provided to social services intends to make the following

Ruling
Your approval as foster family is terminated.


Information about the case

The Social Supervision read in the press on Thursday March 7th, 2019 that you, Jaleh, had been charged for violating §264 d act 2 in the criminal code, caused by you sharing a video on the social media Reddit. The video shows the killing of a young woman in Morocco in December 2018.

On March 11th, 2019 we contacted [region-name] Police, who confirmed that you were charged with violating criminal code § 264 d, act 2.

Reason
Social Supervision authorizes and monitors, among other things, approved foster parents. In this context, the social service assesses whether the foster parents meet the requirement for approval. It is required that the foster family meets the standards of § 6 in the Law of Social Services.

We asses that you do not meet the requirements, due to the charge, to have a foster child, therefore the Social Supervision revokes your approval as foster parents.

Children placed in foster care are in general, children in need of special support. Therefore, they are dependent of the foster family they are placed in. Under no circumstances, can there be doubt as to the foster family’s ability to secure a safe upbringing, the foster family’s skills and the foster family’s ability to support and execute decisions the local authorities make regarding the foster children. This also includes a healthy and constructive collaboration with the local authorities regarding the foster children.

As general approved foster family, you accept a special task in regards of taking care of children with special needs, which is why there cannot be raised significant questions to the family’s moral or ethics. It is also expected by the Social Supervision that approved foster parents acts accordingly to the fact that a duty is carried out on behalf of the public.

The assessment put special emphasis on the fact that you, Jaleh, is charged with violating Criminal code §264 d, act 2, caused by you sharing on the social media Reddit in December 2018 a video of a young woman being killed in Morocco.

Criminal code § 264 d deal with unauthorized distribution of images or messages about a person’s private relationships or images of the person which evidently can demands exclusivity from the broader public. Act 2 deals with situations where the distribution is under particularly aggravating circumstances. This makes the penalty increase to up to 3 years in prison. This law is about the objective act, which means that the crucial point is if there has been a distribution or not, and not what motives are behind the distribution.

The Social Supervision asses that being charged under this act is incompatible with having a general approval as foster parents.

Social Supervision recognizes that foster parents obviously have the same freedom of speech as everybody else, but this right, must be exercised according to the laws of the country. Due to the approval as foster parents there is an added obligation, because the work with marginalized and vulnerable children demands attention to the fact that foster parents often are primary role models for their foster children, and the fact that the foster child, often vulnerable, mirror itself in the foster parents.

It is also the job of the foster parents to guide and support their foster child in acting on the social media as to communicate, navigate and restrict itself in the digital universe, so the child does not expose itself in an inappropriate manner or violate others.

As foster family, it is also important that the kid is not further marginalized or put in a vulnerable situation because of the foster parents’ actions.

Social Supervision emphasizes also in their assessment:

  • That it can be problematic for your foster child that you, Jaleh, are charged for a serious crime due to your sharing of the video as part of your participation in the public debate. This is a discussion and considerations a child does not benefit from involvement in – and by doing it publicly we asses, that you force your foster child into this discussion. When your face and opinions clearly is presented on dr.dk and other media it is unavoidable that the foster child’s friends, family and others are aware of this. We asses that you are placing your foster child in a serious situation, since the child’s loyalty towards you, and the boundary-crossing action for which you are charged for, is not compatible.
  • That the way you, Jaleh, has chosen to expose yourself and communicate politically in this actual case about sharing a violent video, challenges the aforementioned perspectives and the fact that you step forward in the public debate in leading Danish media – printed and electronic, can compromise your role as a foster parent. It is an aggravating circumstance that you, in connection with your participation in the public debate, have shared a video, whose rough content can raise doubt to your judgement in regard to your role as a general approved foster family.
  • That you, Jaleh, as one of the primary role models for your foster child is so heavily exposed, and in connection with that, have shared a very violent video, can cause a complicated situation for your foster child.
  • That you, Jaleh, through your actions on social media in the actual case not sufficiently protects your foster child and fail to act as the “digital role model” a foster parent must be. It is imperative, that children learn to act in the digital universe, so they learn to protect themselves and not get into problems. It is also important that the child learns that others must not feel violated. In this context, your actions can confuse and raise serious doubt in a child, as to how to act in the digital universe.
  • We also asses that it is an aggravating circumstance that you as general approved foster parents, despite already under protected address according to our information caused by threats and harassments, continue to massively expose yourself, including sharing aforementioned video, which inevitably is traceable to you, and eventually your foster child. This is considered incompatible with the task of being a foster family.

We also emphasize the fact that you still have not reported to the Social Supervision about the charge, instead we had to gain knowledge about this due to the media reporting about the charge. The lack of reporting is further enhanced by the fact that you, Jaleh, on your public Facebook page mentioned the charge last week but did not find reason to report to the Social Supervision, despite that this obligation is explicitly mentioned in your approval.

It is mentioned in §12 act 2 no. 1 in law regarding social services, that approved foster parents on their own volition are obliged to report about significant changes regarding the basis of their approval. The fact that a foster parent is charged with a crime punishable by up to 3 years in prison, is an information you should have provided to the social services, considering obtaining criminal records is part of the general approval as foster parents.

 

The social service also asses, that the charge and the circumstances in this case in general, has raised so much doubt about your possibility of keeping your approval as foster parents in the future. It has therefore not been deemed necessary to make a new assessment-report, since the themes in evaluation of quality of foster families, is set aside by the serious charge against you. The Social Supervision asses that regardless of how good an assessment-report would be, there has been raised reasonable doubt regarding your possibility to remain your current approval, that any assessment based on the themes of the general quality model, cannot change our assessment.

We assess on this background that you no longer fulfill the requirements for approval of foster parents according to the law of social services.

 

Hearing: 

You have the possibility to comment the coming decision. Any comments must be at the hands of the Social Supervision no later than 14 days as of today.

We wish to invite you to a dialogue, where we can discuss the contents of this letter outlining our intention.

The meeting is scheduled [day] [month] 2019 in the offices of the Social Supervision at [address]. Participants are Chief of Social Supervision East [..], Head of Department [..], Legal Consultants [..] and [..] and the undersigned Supervisory Advisor.

 

Upon arrival you are asked to go to the entrance of the public hall, and call for me, where upon I will pick you up and bring you to the meeting.

You are to confirm in writing, whether you can participate in this dialog. You can bring an assessor.

Social Supervision will reach a final verdict after the meeting and the end of hearing period.

Legal rulings: The verdict is made under consideration of law of social services §§ 5, 6 & 12 and to announcement about social services § 11 act 1 number 2 and announcement appendix 2.

If you have any questions to this letter outlining our intention, you can contact us.

 

Kind regards

 

Supervisory Advisor [..] and Head of Department […]

 

Join us for fast-defying protests during Ramadan and to defend LGBT Rights, Apostasy and Blasphemy

Hello dear friend

We hope you are well.

We are just writing to give you an update of our upcoming activities, namely fast-defying during Ramadan and defending LGBT rights and apostasy in the run up to Gay Pride in London.

 

17 MAY – CHILD FASTING IS CHILD ABUSE PROTEST AT DEPT FOR EDUCATION

This year, CEMB’s fast-defying action will include a protest at the Department for Education on 17th May at 12pm to highlight the Department’s inaction with regards to child fasting in schools during Ramadan. We are calling on the Department to ban child fasting in schools and for child welfare to trump religious demands of parents. #ChildFastingChildAbuse. For more information, click here.

1 JUNE – FAST-DEFYING RAMADAN PICNIC AND STORIES

CEMB will also be organising a fast-defying picnic for members on 1st June, 1pm and is asking for supporters to send in Ramadan Stories using the hashtag #FastDefyingRamadanStories, #FastDefyingMyRight. To register to attend picnic or publish your stories on our social media during the month of Ramadan, please email hello@ex-muslim.org.uk.

17 JUNE – PROTEST AT BRUNEI EMBASSY AGAINST STONING LAW FOR HOMOSEXUALITY

In the run-up to Gay Pride, CEMB will be organising a protest outside the Brunei Embassy on 17 June at 12pm to condemn Brunei’s new stoning sentences for gay sex and adultery. More information here. (In April, CEMB also joined protests at the Dorchester Hotel, which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei)

4 JULY – EVENING OF FILM, POETRY AND DISCUSSIONS ON LGBT RIGHTS, APOSTASY AND BLASPHEMY

On 4 July, we are organising an evening of film, poetry and discussion on LGBT Rights, Apostasy and Blasphemy, 6:00-10:00pm in London. The evening will include a screening of a short film, ‘Ferdous,’ by Shakila Taranum Maan; poetry by Kenyan Somali Poet Halima Salat; and a panel discussion with Drew Dalton (Hidayah Chair), Jimmy Bangash (CEMB Spokesperson), Khakan Qureshi (Birmingham South Asians LGBT Founder), Nadia El Fani (Tunisian Filmmaker), Sadia Hameed (CEMB Spokesperson), Shakila Taranum Maan (British Director) and Syed Isteak Hossain Shawon (Bangladeshi LGBT activist and Editor of Boys Love World). Maryam Namazie (CEMB and One Law for All Spokesperson) will facilitate the discussion and Nahla Mahmoud will MC the evening. We will also have a Coming Out Ceremony for those coming out as ex-Muslims. For more information or to buy tickets (£5 waged; £3 unwaged), click here.

SUPPORT CEMB CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN FOR GAY PRIDE ACTIONS

As many of you know, CEMB has fought hard to take part in Gay Pride after the East London Mosque and Mend (Islamist bodies) filed official complaints in 2017 with Pride for our placards. It took Pride 8 months to finally allow us to march again in 2018 after we stressed the importance of normalising blasphemy when one can be killed for it. Our presence at Pride for a third year is particularly important as it is one of the few public spaces where ex-Muslim and gay members can openly assert themselves without fear. It is also important given the recent religious justification of homophobia at the Parkfield school in Birmingham and the new stoning sentence for gay sex in Brunei. CEMB is the only group that is critical of Islamic homophobia, focuses on the death penalty in Islamic states, and attempts to normalise and celebrate LGBT rights as well as apostasy and blasphemy at Pride.

If you are able to, please support our crowdfunding page to help with the costs around our participation at Gay Pride, the protest at the Brunei embassy, and our evening event. No amount is too small. We are grateful to Pink Triangle Trust, National Secular Society and others that have already contributed to our actions for LGBT rights.

Thanks to all of you who are able to donate and join in our efforts; without you we will not be able to carry out our important work, which makes such a difference to the lives of those forced to suffer in silence or forced to live in the closet – be that the LGBT closet or the apostasy closet.

Please visit our website for more information on other upcoming events, support group meetings, monthly meet-ups and socials, media coverage, actions and statements, including our joint statement with other groups expressing our outrage at the heinous Islamist terrorist attack on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.

We hope to see you at some of our upcoming events and actions.

Warm wishes

Maryam and Sadia

Maryam Namazie and Sadia Hameed

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

www.ex-muslim.org.uk

 

Ramadan Fast-Defying Protests: Child Fasting is Child Abuse

In the past years, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain has held fast-defying protests at embassies in solidarity with those who are persecuted for eating and drinking during Ramadan.

This year, CEMB’s fast-defying action will include a protest at the Department for Education on 17th May at 12pm.

The 17 May protest at the Department for Education aims to highlight the Department’s inaction with regards to child fasting in schools during Ramadan. Child fasting should be banned as it is harmful to children.

If a child is sent to school without breakfast and not allowed to eat lunch or drink water whilst going about their normal school day for an entire month, this would rightly trigger safeguarding procedures and be considered a form of neglect. However, when it comes to BME children of religious parents, the Department for Education readily turns a blind eye.

Being forced to not eat or drink water for an entire month for 12+ hours a day is clearly harmful to children and child development. It causes sickness, dizziness, migraines, sunstrokes, lack of focus and tiredness as a result of dehydration or lack of sustenance. It can also lead to depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, anger, apathy, reduced alertness, diminished comprehension… Children have been known to faint at school as a result.

Adults, of course, can fast if they choose. It’s important to remember that there is a corresponding right NOT to fast if one chooses not to. Nonetheless, when it comes to children, imposing fasting rules is child abuse and neglect.

The Department for Education has a duty of care for school children and must act immediately to put child welfare above any religious demands of parents.

#ChildFastingChildAbuse

DETAILS OF THE EVENTS FOR RAMADAN

17 May, 12pm

Fast defying protest outside Department for Education, 20 Great Smith St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3BT

#ChildFastingChildAbuse

1st June, 1pm

Ramadan Picnic for ex-Muslims. To join picnic, please email hello@ex-muslim.org.uk

#FastDefyingMyRight

5 May-4 June

Send your Ramadan Stories to be posted on our social media on a daily basis to sadia.hameed@ex-muslim.org.uk or use the hashtag #FastDefyingRamadanStories

Outrage at Islamist terrorist attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka

We are outraged at the Islamist attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. Our hearts go out to the survivors and victims – hundreds killed, including at least 45 children, and more than 500 wounded. We mourn them with the people of Sri Lanka and the world.
 
The terrorists claim to have killed innocent Christians and others in order to “avenge” innocent Muslims killed in Christchurch; the Christchurch terrorist also feigned to kill innocent Muslim worshippers as an act of “vengeance”. What should by now be very clear to everyone is that these terrorist attacks have nothing to do with addressing grievances – real or imagined – and everything to do with using terror, hate, supremacy and violence as a tool to impose the ideology and dominance of the religious-Right.
 
Whether Islamist or white nationalist, whether in Sri Lanka or Christchurch, these far-Right movements have no respect for human life and rights: Christian, Muslim, ex-Muslim, believer or non, white, black or brown, young or old; no amount of murder or mayhem is too heinous for their hateful cause. Always anti- those deemed “other”; always relying on hate, religion, violence, misogyny, homophobia, tribalism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and terrorism to sow fear and division.
 
For too long and still far too many continue to excuse one side over the other depending on where they stand. Some will defend the Islamists, others will defend the Christian-Right, both sides saying there are “legitimate grievances” even if they claim to abhor terrorism. Many will even go so far as to blame the victims, especially in the case of apostates and blasphemers like Charlie Hebdo or the Bangladeshi bloggers. What these apologists fail to see is that there is no legitimisation for murder.
 
Those killed in Sri Lanka could be any of us. We could be next. We must all take an unequivocal stand against all forms of fascism and hate. We must not allow the conflation of the religious-Right with ordinary believers, victim blaming, and the dehumanisation of the “other” to legitimate a politics of terror and hate.
 
Sooner than later, we must recognise that we are all in this together against the far-Right and in defence of our common humanity. Our lives and our rights are interlinked irrespective of our backgrounds and beliefs.
 
It is a matter of urgency that governments stop appeasing theocracies and the religious-Right, including via faith schools and child indoctrination, religious courts and faith-based policies. This only strengthens divisions and the religious-Right.
 
Defending secularism, citizenship and universal rights is the only way forward.
 
#OneRace_HumanRace
#ChristchurchMosqueAttack #SriLankaAttack
 
SIGNATORIES
 
Atheist Republic
Bread and Roses TV
Center for Inquiry Secular Rescue
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Council of Ex-Muslims of France
Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka
Ex-Muslims of Norway
Faithless Hijabi
Freethought Lebanon
M.A.L.I. Alternative movement for individual liberties
One Law for All
Secularism is a Women’s Issue
Tunisian Freethinkers
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