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Home News Muslim father of house-bound girls loses family

Muslim father of house-bound girls loses family

Published on 06/01/2006

VALENCE, France, Jan 6 (AFP) -  A Moroccan man who kept his four daughters house-bound in the name of Islam was given an eight-month suspended prison term and deprived of his parental rights by a court in southern France on Friday.

The 45 year-old man — whose name was not made public in order to protect the children — refused to let the girls attend school on the grounds that they would be made to remove their Islamic veils.

At his trial in December the man walked out of the court after seeing that the judge and the prosecutor were both women.

The girls — aged 4, 10, 13 and 14 — were banned from leaving the confines of the family’s small apartment in the town of Romans-sur-Isère, the court heard.

They had learned the rudiments of reading and writing from their mother but had seen no book other than the Koran. Their father — who lived off state hand-outs — also refused to let them take lessons at home because of the content of the curriculum.

The social services became aware of their plight when a care-worker chanced upon one of the girls on the landing outside their apartment and passed to her an emergency telephone number.

The girls have since been placed in a care-home.

“Despite the wilderness to which they were abandoned, the children are lively, intelligent, willful and eager to learn,” prosecutor Colette Clement-Barthez told the court hearing last month.

“The first thing they asked to do at the care-home was to be able to run in the garden. They had never been allowed to run,” she said.

The girls’ mother now lives apart from her husband, not far from their home.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news