There is a severe shoortage of Muslims registered to provide foster care in Sweden. Due to the growing Muslim population, there are far more Muslim children needing foster care than there are are Muslim carers. The result is that many Muslim children are placed with non-Muslim carers.
Sweden's Muslim community also aims to create that awareness amongst its members.
The Federation of Swedish Muslims for Peace and Justice organized a seminar on Sunday at the Fittya Mosque in Stockholm and appealed to the Swedish Muslim community to consider offering themselves to be foster families in the country's social welfare system.
âWe hope more Muslim families come to the fore and register so when there are cases where Muslim children are forced to be put into the state's custody, they have a proper place to live. This is important because these children need to be in a home that is halal compliant,â says it's president, Yasri Khan.
He added that the community also wants to put pressure on the state to be more proactive in identifying Muslim families in order to adapt to a new Sweden where the Muslim community in particular is growing fast. There are about 500,000 Muslims in Sweden whose total population is around 9 million.
Khan's wife, Kawtar Chibli, an officer with the Stockholm Child Protection Services, concurs with Khan, but stressed the fact that although there are Muslim foster families, there just aren't enough to cater for the number of custody cases involving Muslim children in the country.
âAccording to the European convention and the child convention that Sweden is a signatory of, this is already Swedish law. But the state is not doing enough,â said Khan.
The seminar was also attended by the special Umno Youth mission that are currently in Stockholm to monitor a case and also look into the welfare of the Malaysian couple's four children who have been under the care of a non-Muslim family for the past six weeks since their parents have been detained.
In one case, a Malaysian couple, Azizul Raheem Awaluddin and Shalwati Nurshal, were detained in Sweden for allegedly beating their son for not performing his prayers, While they are still being held under remand, their four children continue to be taken care of by a non-Muslim Swedish family.
The Malaysian government and its people have expressed their hopes that these children will be put under the care of a Muslim family.
Swedish authorities have recently interviewed several Malaysian Muslim families to accommodate four siblings, currently under the care of a non-Muslim family after their parents were detained.
"The choice of which Malaysian Muslim family is qualified to care for the four siblings will be made soon," said a Foreign Ministry officer when contacted by Bernama Thursday.
"Swedish Muslims Want Government To Increase Number Of Muslim Foster Families" Malaysian Digest January 27, 2014
"Swedish Authorities Interview Several Malaysian Muslim Families"Bernama January 23, 2014
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today