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News & Current Events Discuss Muslim orphans caught between Islamic, Western law at the General Forum; Helene Lauffer knew Muslim children _ orphaned, displaced, neglected _ needed homes in the United States. She knew American Muslim ...

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Old 12-09-2010, 11:02 PM
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Default Muslim orphans caught between Islamic, Western law

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Helene Lauffer knew Muslim children _ orphaned, displaced, neglected _ needed homes in the United States. She knew American Muslim families wanted to take them in.

But Lauffer, associate executive director of Spence-Chapin, one of the oldest adoption agencies in the country, couldn't bring them together.

The problem was a gap between Western and Islamic law. Traditional, closed adoption violates Islamic jurisprudence, which stresses the importance of lineage. Instead, Islam has a guardianship system called kafalah that resembles foster care, yet has no exact counterpart in Western law.

The differences have left young Muslims with little chance of finding a permanent Muslim home in America. So Lauffer sought out a group of Muslim women scholars and activists, hoping they could at least start a discussion among U.S. Muslims about how adoption and Islamic law could become compatible.
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Lauffer is not alone in raising the issue. As Muslim communities become more established in the United States, pressure is building for a re-examination of Islamic law on adoption.

Refugee children from Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are being resettled here. Muslim couples who can't conceive want to adopt, but don't want to violate their faith's teachings. State child welfare agencies that permanently remove Muslim children from troubled homes usually can't find Muslim families to adopt them because of the restrictions in Islamic law.

"I get all kinds of families who come to me for fertility issues. They want to adopt and they want to adopt Muslim children and I'm thinking this is a crime that they can't," said Najah Bazzy, a nurse and founder of Zaman International, a humanitarian service group in Dearborn, Mich. "No one is going to convince me that Islam makes no allocation for this. Either somebody is not interpreting it right, or it needs to be reinterpreted."

Mohammad Hamid, a clinical psychologist and co-founder of the Hamdard Center, a social service agency in the Chicago area that has many Muslims among its clients, said he regularly received requests from American Muslims for advice on how they could adopt.

"We don't tell them it's Islamic or un-Islamic," said Hamid, whose nonprofit does not handle adoptions. "Our job is to facilitate the process. We believe if the child can be adopted, you are saving a child."
ksl.com - Muslim orphans caught between Islamic, Western law
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:22 AM
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Default Re: Muslim orphans caught between Islamic, Western law

If we don't think we have enough problems let's create a few.
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Muslim orphans caught between Islamic, Western law

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If we don't think we have enough problems let's create a few.
Yeah and then I wondered so does that mean the muslims religious law will always be more important and adhered to for american muslims even over the us law?
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Muslim orphans caught between Islamic, Western law

But don't anyone dare think they want to impose islamic law here in this country.
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Muslim orphans caught between Islamic, Western law

That is a very interesting article, Chloe.
Posting things like that is one of the reasons that I really enjoy message boards like this, I learn new stuff almost everyday.

The concept of god-parents in the catholic faith is one way to keep the faith continuing for orphaned children. It can cross familial lineage.

Personally, I would see the Muslim laws in place here as a detriment to the religion. I read the entire article and can understand the reasoning behind the practice as it was initially intended.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Muslim orphans caught between Islamic, Western law

As Long as they are loved. Sadly I think Grown people forget being children. I think we would do better to think at a childs level in some instances, especially when children are involved. imo of course
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Muslim orphans caught between Islamic, Western law

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As Long as they are loved. Sadly I think Grown people forget being children. I think we would do better to think at a childs level in some instances, especially when children are involved. imo of course
That reminds me of a funny thing recently...I don't have kids so, it removes me from some of this, sadly. But over Thanksgiving I was visiting my Mom, and when I'm there I take advantage of the many walking/running trails and pathways in her area. One of them passes by a school and there were little kids playing in the playard we (my dog Cowboy, and I) walked by. I was going to ignore them and keep on walking but they started asking questions and I asked them if they wanted to pet Cowboy. Now there was a chainlink fence between us but I brought Cowboy to the fence, gave them treats to give them, told then he was friendly and they could pet him and ...of course...struck up a conversation. It was enlightening...amusing and so free of everyday tensions. They loved petting Cowboy and I had to make sure each one got a treat to give him. One little boy had a lot of questions like:

"he has BIG teeth" (C is a 50 lb aussie) so I said "ya, dogs do have big teeth"

"but what if he was a little tiny dog?"

Me: "well, I guess he'd have little tiny teeth then"

"but what if he was A GREAT BIG DOG?"

Me: "well...then he'd have GREAT BIG TEETH"

This little boy kept wanting to give Cowboy a treat but he was clearly a little afraid so the little girl in charge told him what I told her about giving him a treat and showed him how to do it.

It was so neat - invision about 8 little kids under age 8, crowded up to and reaching through this fence to pet the dog and give him treats. They were multi-ethnic/multi-national -- and no one cared.

Children are brutally honest...and open to so much. Their questions are direct and with no hidden agendas. I came away with a lighter step and a lighter heart. It was wonderful
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: Muslim orphans caught between Islamic, Western law

The solution is obvious. Have the quasi-adoptive parents move to a country where Islamic law dominates, and engage in kafalah.

Also, the person who said "no one is going to convince me that Islam makes no allocation for this . . . either somebody is not interpreting it right, or it needs to be reinterpreted," apparently has been living on another planet the last ten years. Most of the rest of us have learned that typical Islamic Authorities react to accusations of misinterpretation or calls for reinterpretation with fatwas calling for execution.
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