A Somali Muslim refugee has won a key victory for Muslims in Europe after Europe’s top rights court ruled that Norwegian authorities violated the Muslim woman’s rights when they removed her child from her care and placed him with a Christian family.
“Both my client and I are pleased with the unanimous verdict,” Anna Lubin, the attorney of Mariya Abdi Ibrahim, told Courthouse News via email.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) made the important decision on Friday, ruling that a Muslim child cannot be given a foster family that is incompatible with his or her belief and culture.
The decision concluded a lawsuit filed by İbrahim, who came to Norway as a refugee, fleeing civil war in Somalia 11 years ago.
When her son was 10 months old, the Norwegian Child Welfare Services removed him from Ibrahim’s care, citing neglect and abuse. He was adopted by a Norwegian couple who are members of the Evangelical Mission Covenant Church and cut all ties with his biological mother.
After her attempt to block the removal of her son failed, the now 28-year-old requested that he be placed with another Somalian or Muslim family, but the Norwegian court denied her request. Ibrahim wanted her son to maintain ties to his Somalian heritage and her Muslim faith.
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