CAIR-Austin Shares Concerns of Muslim Family Over Daughter's Alienation from Her Faith During Custody Case

CAIR-Austin Shares Concerns of Muslim Family Over Daughter's Alienation from Her Faith During Custody Case

 

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CAIR-Austin Shares Concerns of Muslim Family Over Daughter's Alienation from Her Faith During Custody Case  

(AUSTIN, TX, 3/23/2022) – The Austin chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Austin), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed concerns that a Muslim family’s 9-year-old daughter is being alienated from her faith during a child custody case. 

Haitham and Maha are the parents of nine-year-old Sara. Both are of Iraqi heritage and Muslim. 

Maha, the mother, is a convert to Islam. After converting to Islam, she married Haitham, had five children, bought a home in Austin, Texas, and was living the American Dream. Maha's mother, Victoria Jacobs, and sister Sue Jacobs are both Iraqi Christians who also live in Austin. 

In December 2021, Sue Jacobs brought a custody case for nine-year-old Sara. Since the start of the custody case, Sara has lived with and continues to live with her Christian in-laws instead of her biological parents and other siblings. The court determined that there are no safety concerns for Sara and that both her parents are fit. 

"This case is extremely concerning because we have a Muslim child who the court is allowing to stay with her Christian in-laws even though the court has found no safety concerns. This is causing alienation between the child and her parents, siblings and faith.” said CAIR-Austin Executive Director Faizan Syed. “Do we really live in a country in which in-laws from a different religion can start a child custody case and from day one the court will allow that child to live with the in-laws and be isolated from their previous life? That scares me and should frighten anyone in a multi-faith family."  

According to the parent's attorney, "No court orders gave any other person custody of Sara, and the courts have ruled no safety concerns have been demonstrated. Therefore, Sara should have been returned to her parents and siblings immediately via the habeas corpus process or a temporary order hearing. Still, the courts have failed to do so."  

The situation has traumatized Sara, who is increasingly alienated from her parents, siblings and religion. An expert testified that Sara exhibited severe alienation during an intermediary hearing with Judge Julio A. de la Liata. The Court was concerned that Sue was causing alienation of Sara, but no steps have been taken by the Court to prevent said alienation. 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.   

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos. 

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CONTACT: CAIR-Austin Executive Director Faizan Syed, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 469-290-2909