Judge removes care order after successful radicalisation intervention

Parents who held radical views benefited from the work of an independent radicalisation expert, the judge said

Court decisions
Photo: tashatuvango/Fotolia

A High Court judge has allowed three children to remain in the care of their parents after they rejected the radical and extremist views which they had previously shared on social media.

The judge praised the efforts of an independent radicalisation expert and unnamed local authority in the case, which he said had delivered “a positive outcome” for the family.

The children, referred to as C, D and E, had initially been taken into care after the parents were stopped at Folkestone, with the children in the car, and the local authority and police believed their ultimate intention was to travel to Syria. They were returned into the care of their parents in November last year, however the parents had to be fitted with electronic tags and agree to a contract with the local authority.

Specialist work

In the nine months following a fact-finding hearing held in January this year, the parents underwent a specialist piece of work and assessment regarding their attitudes and opinions to Islam.

“There is now good evidence that the parents reject their previous ideological beliefs, which they now acknowledge to have been extreme and unorthodox; there is no evidence that they have in any sense indoctrinated C and D; they have a much more resilient attitude to extreme ideology and previously,” Justice Cobb said.

In the fact-finding hearing, Cobb said he did not believe there was the evidence to definitely prove the family was travelling to Syria when they were stopped. However, he felt it was clear the family hadn’t been honest with him and it may have been their intention, if not immediately, to eventually end up in Syria.

Videos

Videos had also been posted to YouTube showing the father with someone “known for his extreme views” and made scripted videos where he said “the Prophet was sent to make ‘Islam dominant over every other way of life’”.

The father had also tweeted after a social services visit: “social workers who don’t have children come to your house (dressed as whores) telling you how to bring up your children”, which he later accepted was wrong.

Justice Cobb had initially said: “Over the first half of 2015, the evidence reveals increasing participation by the parents in activity among those who clearly espoused and promulgated extreme and/or radical views about Islam. There was a crescendo in the parents’ interest in sharing views on social media of an extremist nature; they posted messages which I am satisfied indicated their own support for terrorist activities, individual known terrorists and terrorist organisations; they clearly adopted, openly supported and repeated the views of others who proclaimed similarly radical views.”

‘Wrong’

Cobb concluded: “While relieved to record, as I have, that the parents’ extreme and radical fervour has not (yet) infected the children, there is a likelihood that, unless checked, it will do so; if it does so, it will cause these children really serious or ‘significant’ harm.”

After this hearing, the parents accepted the findings of the court and wanted to work with the local authority to address the concerns.

The father said, shortly after the fact-finding hearing, “I cannot fully explain why I allowed myself to get drawn into radical extreme thinking” and both parents accepted what they had done was “wrong”.

Justice Cobb said he accepted there was a risk the parents had complied “superficially” and said what professionals wanted to hear but the parents had also undoubtedly responded more positively to the interventions of social workers.

“I am sufficiently satisfied from the reports of Mr Ali, who is experienced in working with those who hold and promulgate extremist views, that the attitudes of these parents have genuinely changed,” Cobb concluded.

He discharged existing interim care orders affecting the three children, and made none to replace them. The children will remain on a child in need plan.

4 Responses to Judge removes care order after successful radicalisation intervention

  1. Alex December 16, 2016 at 7:47 am #

    “the Prophet was sent to make ‘Islam dominant over every other way of life’”.

    This statement does not prove that someone is or likely to agree with any terrorist ideology.

    Every other religion, every other ideology eg Capitalism believes their ideology or religion to be superior and worth propagating to others. Using statements from Islam like this and implying they lead to extremism or terrorism is incorrect and reflects a bias against Islam.

    A muslim or a Christian who does not believe in own religion to be the truth or superior should not and likely would not be adhering to it.

    Rather than using isolated quotes from Islam the government needs to encourage free debate, open and honest, on TV, on radio between the different religions and ideologies so that people can make informed choices and views. Extremists or terrorists with erroneous beliefs would naturally be eradicated exposed for what they are.

    Implied attacks on Islam like this, using such quotes leads to Muslims justifiably feeling suspicious and will help breed mistrust, and incohesion. Whereas open, honest debates, approaching other religions and ideologies with an open mind will lead to mutual trust. We will then find that People naturally root out extremists from their midst. ‘Britain First’, ISIL and even UKIP and the like will not stand a chance.

    • Longtime SW December 16, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

      Sorry – it is you that have taken the quote out of context – this was a directly attributable scripted quote in a video online by the father and formed part of the evidence in the Care Proceedings on which the Judge had at that time to make some decisions.

      It is neither an attack on Islam nor any other faith belief – it was a statement of one of many things that the father had said and was in context with the point that was being made.

      Is the father’s comment that social workers ‘dressed like whores’ also taken to be a comment for or against the Islamic faith view of social work and social workers bearing in mind that people of all faiths and none are social workers?

      Please take the time and trouble to read the fact finding hearing in full.

  2. Alex December 16, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

    Longtime SW…

    I think it is you who are politically naive and think such rulings merely impact on the indviduals concerned, You fail to see the bigger picture…

    The fact that quote was used in the hearing and now repeated in this article is the issue. The meaning contained in the quote is shared by all religions, ideologies, and non religious beliefs. All think they are correct but only a few are willing to test out their convictions in open debates.

    Far more people in the world believe in a God as creator and source of guidance but due to the failures of Christianity in the Western World all religions are deamonised without thought or debate because it suits the dominant ideology of our time, capitalism.

  3. A December 16, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

    As for the fathers comment about the social worker’s dress… they are no different to the comments we hear about muslim women’s dress these days. If a woman covers up she’s oppressed, if she bares her skin she’s a whore. High time we treated women with respect. Religion does not disrespect woman whereas Capitalism seeks to exploit them.

    We can debate about ‘who said, you said’ but unless society adopts a system that recognises the worth of women, men, children and our older people we will continue to sink deeper into this abys of all relationships based on what we can gain from the other with little cost to us… the very basis of Capitalism. Religion teaches you to ensure your neighbour does not go hungry while you sleep on a full stomach.