A father in the U.K. has been banned from taking his son to a church after his ex-wife won a controversial court order prevent the child from attending church or Christian activities.
The father, who is unnamed for legal reasons, is challenging a ruling prohibiting him from taking his son to Christian activities, which could prevent him from being allowed to see his child.
“This judge is simply scared of being branded Islamophobic,” he said
Enforced by District Judge Williscroft at Derby County Court, the order bans the father from taking the child to religious activities. He must assure his son he is “an ordinary Muslim boy following Muslim rules” and only serve Halal food.
“This is a form of judicial bullying,” said Barrister Andrea Williams, of the Christian Legal Centre. “The wife is using the law to coerce and silence a father's right to determine his son's religious experience.”
According to the father, the couple were married in 2003 and followed a “Western lifestyle.” After the death of the woman’s father, she turned to the Muslim faith because her mother reportedly stated her father would spend eternity in Hell unless she became a devout Muslim.
The father, who is a non-practicing Muslim, said he was embraced by his local Christian community following the divorce, and that the church community center provides various activities his son enjoys.
“I want my son to have a balanced life in which he is exposed to different faiths and can make up his own mind about which, if any, religion he follows,” he said, according to The International Business Times.
When the mother found out, she appealed to the court and won the order prohibiting their child from attending any Christian activity.
"This is nothing short of brain-washing him,” he said. “I am heartbroken that I have to keep him away from activities with local children."
Although many people discussing this case are focusing on morality, others have brought up importance of maintaining a stable environment for a child in a divorced household.
"The primary caretaker has final say in all decisions regarding the child, if nothing else is agreed upon," wrote Redditor thehenkan. "The court sees [the father] as a disruption in their family peace, since he is trying to undo the mother's fostering."
"I am terrified that he will stop wanting to see me because of his indoctrination," the father said.