The true story behind the Muslim foster care case

Why let a lie get in the way of a good story? This seems to be the case in the reporting of a Muslim foster carer hitting the front pages of the rightwing press.

The Times could find itself in hot water this week after publishing several false claims in its sensationalised report of the Muslim foster care case.

Bank Holiday Monday saw the News UK title run a front-page story about a Christian child who had been “forced” into Muslim foster care, with brash and brazen reports of a “white” girl who was taken against her will to live with a Muslim family who “don’t speak English” in the “scandal-ridden borough of Tower Hamlets”.

The story also claimed the foster carer “removed her necklace”, which had a Christian cross, and suggested that she should “learn Arabic”.

Not discounting the fact that foster care is often an unselfish, heartfelt act on behalf of the carers who have been demonised in The Times reporting; the story has since been proved to be comprised of several falsehoods.

Tower Hamlets Council said there had been several “inaccuracies” in the reporting of the case, particularly the claim that the foster family did not speak English, but it was prohibited from proving specific details.

So why not jump to the most logical, bigoted version of the events?

At least, that seems to be The Times mentality, which has since run several follow-up pieces to its sensational scoop, one of which claimed her parents “begged Tower Hamlets council to let child in Muslim care stay with grandmother”.

Today many of the traditionally right leaning newspapers printed follow up stories about the case.

The sad truth is that fostering is a selfless act which can be difficult and challenging at the best of times. There is already a shortage of foster carers of all backgrounds in the UK. However, there is a specific shortage of those who identify as Muslim. In fact, a Muslim child is more likely to be fostered by a non-Muslim carer than vice versa [which of course isn’t newsworthy it seems].

These sensationalist headlines will do nothing but damage the already struggling care system.  It’s likely that Muslim families considering volunteering as foster carers will be put off by the hostility and sensationalist headlines in this week’s mainstream newspapers.

The London Economic News

Reports about the fostering have been seized upon by far-right activists including the English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson, as well as Britain First and the EDL, showing how the media is fuelling right-wing views in Britain.

According to the Fear and HOPE 2017 report, released today, a quarter of English people now think Islam is a dangerous religion that incites violence, with 52 per cent saying that Islam poses a threat to the West.

As Miqdaad Versi, the assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, which has secured dozens of national press corrections over reporting about Islam and Muslims, said in recent Tweets, stories like this hardly help.

The Daily Mail have also been accused of Photoshopping a picture of a veiled woman in Dubai to sensationalise the story.

A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets council said: “While we cannot go into details of a case that would identify a child in foster care, there are inaccuracies in the reporting of it. For example, the child is in fact fostered by an English-speaking family of mixed race in this temporary placement. We would like to give more details but we are legally restricted to do so.”

They added: “We have always been working towards the child being looked after by a family member and we continue to do so.”

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3 Responses

  1. mojodrummer

    The problem is, Joe Public is left to decide who is correct and who to believe. The DT is obviously a right-wing media outlet and will spin things to their own agenda. Conversely, TLE, in my opinion, is clearly a left-wing media outlet and will fashion their stories to fit with their particular narrative.
    There is clearly more to this story than meets the eye, but you’d need to see the case files and know the child’s family background to draw your own conclusion out from this one.

  2. Farouk

    My sister and I was taken into care from an Islamic family during the 70s. Guidelines were set and that meant no religion or meat. That was over 40 years ago. As this happened to me, I find the above article omitting a number of salient points in which to promote a vision of racism from the non-Muslim side.

    1) ” the child is in fact fostered by an English-speaking family of mixed race in this temporary placement.”

    There have been 2 families involved in fostering this child, it was first family which didn’t speak English, which may help explain why a second family was brought in.

    2) Regards the so called fake picture (above) It did say portrayed by actors. Meaning it was a mock up as used by numerous news agencies.

    3) “The story also claimed the foster carer “removed her necklace”, which had a Christian cross, and suggested that she should “learn Arabic”.”

    I actually read the times article, and they never claimed, they stated all of the above from a freedom of information request , in other words they have stated the truth. A highly political story which if exposed as fake, would see the sacking of the editor, I doubt that the above are claims.

    4) This article is nothing more than a whitewash in which to paint anybody who dares questions anything about Islam as…racist. We saw that with Sarah Champion, we see that with Terrorism and we see that with doctors arrested over FGM.

    How about we actually care about out own children rather than playing the race card in which to cover up something , which if it had been the other way round would have the left screaming foul play. h hang on whats this from Harrow in 2014:
    Somali women protest against adoption decision by Harrow Borough Council
    More than 50 women from the Somali community took to the streets outside Harrow Civic Centre to protest against an adoption decision they say goes against their religious beliefs.

    The women gathered outside Harrow Borough Council’s offices in Station Road as the child put up for adoption was due to go to its new family today.

    According to the group, the child was due to be adopted by a lesbian couple, which protesters say is against their religious beliefs.

    They say the mother and child’s religious beliefs and ethnicity have been ignored by placing the child in the home of the couple.

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