The Danish government is threatening to rescind the foster-parenting rights of a mother for criticizing Islam.
Jaleh Tavakoli, a Danish-Iranian blogger and author of the book “Public Secrets of Islam,” was told by the Danish Social Supervisory Authority that her foster-daughter would be removed from her care after she posted a video of the rape and murder by ISIS terrorists in Morocco of two Scandinavian young women, wrote Judith Bergman, a political analyst and senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute.
Tavakoli and her husband had been raising an 8-year-old girl since she was a newborn.
But the government informed the couple that they don’t “have the necessary quality to have children” in their care.
“As a generally approved foster family, one assumes a special task in relation to taking care of children with special needs, so that the family’s morality or ethics must not be questionable to any significant extent,” the Danish agency said.
According to Danish law, it’s illegal “to disclose messages or images relating to someone’ else’s private affairs or otherwise pictures of the person … in circumstances which it may be … required to keep [away from] the public.”
Tavakoli said she posted the video because the report of the murder was widespread internationally but virtually ignored by Danish media.
The government agency warned her: “It can be problematic for your foster child that you, Jaleh, are charged with a serious offense as a result of your video sharing as part of your public participation [in the] debate … the way you, Jaleh, have chosen to expose yourself and communicate politically in the current case of sharing a violent video… and the fact that you appear in the public debate… in leading Danish media, both printed and electronic, can compromise your role as a foster parent… that you, Jaleh, as one of the primary role models for your foster child is so heavily exposed and in this connection has passed on a very violent video, may constitute a complicated situation for your foster child… That you, Jaleh, through your behavior on social media in the present case, [do not] act as the ‘digital role model’ a foster parent must be… In this context, your activities may confuse and cause serious doubts in a child about how to act in the digital universe.”
Bergman said government officials later sent another letter clarifying that their comments were “not intended to relate to the freedom of expression of the foster family.”
The case remains unresolved, and Bergman noted, “What is shocking is that a state agency has threatened to remove a foster child from her only family, not because there is the slightest suspicion of ill-treatment of the child, but because of the foster mother’s exercising her freedom of speech.”
She quoted the Danish lawyer defending the family, Karoly Nemeth, saying, “It is the worst kind of abuse of power I have ever seen.”
She noted Mai Mercado, the minister for Children and Social Affairs, also was upset and offered to change the rules, if necessary.
“I am speechless. I cannot go into the specific case, which I understand is not yet settled. I must say quite clearly that if the rules in any way cause children in foster care to get caught [in the system], then I am ready to change the rules immediately and I have already been informed that it can be urgently dealt with if necessary,” Mercado said.