Anorak News | Muslims care more about their children than Christians do, says Lancashire expert

Muslims care more about their children than Christians do, says Lancashire expert

by | 22nd, February 2012

THE Lancashire Telegraph saysAsian children are less likely to end up in care because of the strong support network in the community“.

Well, according to a “religious leader” they are.

Jon Livesy has facts:

Latest figures show that of the 385 children in care in Blackburn with Darwen in December, the vast majority – 316 – were white British.

The current population of Blackburn with Darwen is about 140,000. The proportion of Muslim population (19.4% or 26,674 people).

The number of Asian children was just 29, which is less than half their proportion in the local population.

The figures prove the headline claim.

But why is it? Is it a sing that Asian families don’t trust the State? That white families lack, well, family to rely on? That Asian woman are not allowed to fail to call for help? Statistics alone don’t tell us all that much.

Salim Mulla, chairman of Lancashire Council of Mosques and a borough councillor in Blackburn with Darwen, said he was not surprised by the statistics.


“In our community the majority of people tend to have a large extended family.”

By ‘our community’ he is, presumably, wearing his Lancashire Council of Mosques hat and not that of the borough residents that voted for him?

“So within the community, extended family members often take on the additional responsibility of looking after their relatives’ children without even thinking about it.”

Got to like that part “without even thinking about it“. Do we know why families take in other people’s children? Do we know what happens to the parents who give them up?

“That is the mentality of the Muslim community, to support one another in their hour of need, and that message is always given in sermons in mosques.”

Community is pretty much the sermon in every House of God, in every religion. What we need to know is that an “hour of need” is? If you go to the State, there are records and reports. If you go to extended family there is not.

Last week 13-year-old Mohammed Alam Naseem was found dead in his bed at specialist children’s home Woodside House, in Tockholes Road, Darwen. The Haslingden High School pupil’s death came after an adoption placement with a muslim family broke down.

Are the two things linked? Do we know what happened to Master Naseem? Is his religion relevant? Well, Coun Mulla, says it is:

“The Lancashire Council of Mosques has been deeply and heavily involved in encouraging people to adopt and foster children. We have held seminars with local authorities across Lancashire, where the professionals and officers spoke to us.

“After that we said to our community that people had to take responsibility for children who were in care by adopting or fostering. We said they had to understand that these children need somebody to look after them, and we gave a good example – that of the prophet Mohammed, who was an orphan.

“He was adopted and looked after, so his example shows us that adopting or fostering can be very rewarding.”

Moses was adopted. But that didn’t go so well. What with the cultural differences, it all ended in plague and mass drowning. Joseph adopted Jesus, bringing the lad up as his own. That also had mixed results.

It’s off that the story of children in the care of the State is being presented as being about religion. Is the State Christian and so more likely to attract likeminded children and carers? Is the Muslim community suspicious of that, untrusting of national institutions? And if you base statistics on race and religion, might it come back one day to bite you in the bum? Are Muslims proportionally represented in crimes, depression or some other less uplifting strand?

Sadly, it appears that what should be frank and open debate on race and identity in a confident democracy ends up being about whose God is more caring. Pity.

Spotter: Karen

Posted: 22nd, February 2012 | In: Reviews Comments (4) | TrackBack | Permalink