Subject: Kidnapping of Children
Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2000 11:05 AM
Does your group address the problem of the kidnapping of children who are citizens of European and North American countries to Islamic countries, primarily by non-custodial fathers? This horrendous and inhumane act is done in the name of Islam by most of the fathers I know about. I am one of the mothers who has been cruelly separated from and denied access to my daughter Heidi Al-Omary, who is now 7 years old, for almost 3 years. This lovely girl was stolen by an Islamic fundamentalist father who did not like the laws of the US regarding child custody and so decided to take the law into his own hands. It is not Allah who told this crazy man to steal a child from her mother, but only the criminal’s misguided notion of what Allah wanted him to do. My only solace in this heartbreaking situation is that this man will spend eternity in Hell, and my child’s and my suffering will be rewarded in heaven.
Meanwhile, she is being raised by a man who was the Assistant Director of the Islamic Center of Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA—a center built by Saudi funds entirely; a Center whose members assisted in the kidnapping of my child. The stepmother is an American convert who abandoned her own two children in the United States to accompany my ex-husband to Saudi Arabia, where he lives lavishly in the employ of the ARAMCO Oil Company. These are the types of so-called Muslims of the Wahhabi persuasion who will teach my child to hate others. I know this to be true because I was married to the kid-napper for 4 awful years, and learned day by day that his heart was filled with hate for anyone who was different from him and his kind. He hated the Shiites or any other Muslim sects; he hated all other religions; he hated Arabs who were non-Saudis; he hated “white” people; he hated Americans and English people. On the other hand, he loved Adolf Hitler because Hitler murdered Jews. This is the kind of Muslim who pervades the Saudi Arabian peninsula, unfortunately.
My case is not unique, by the way. Here are the names of other children stolen to the Middle East in the name of Islam: Hani and Maisoon Ukayli; Alia and Aisha Al-Gheshayan, Zaid Ziadeh, Rayan El-Kadi, Leila and Mohammed Elmergawi, Dria Davis, Amjad and Rasheed Radwan, Nadia Dabbagh, the Al-Nofaily children, Tarik and Ryan Al-Jarboa, Hatam Al-Shabrami, the Noaman children, the Zaazhoa girls, and countless others. I am a member of PARENT INTERNATIONAL, a non-profit organization like yours that assists the families of children illegally removed to foreign countries. While the Islamic countries are by no means the only violators of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (which most of them have ratified) and the Hague Convention (which most of them refuse to ratify), it is the Middle Eastern Islamic countries where left-behind victim parents have the most difficulties. Mothers cannot see their children or even speak to them by telephone if the father denies them.
Our law enforcement agencies have no authority there, and local INTERPOL agencies refuse to arrest kidnappers who are citizens of these countries. The governments of Islamic countries are notorious for protecting international kidnappers, terrorists, and other criminals who seem to get safe haven there. What kind of Islam is this that is practiced by the Al-Saud family, the Protectors of the Two Holy Mosques? When they allow tortures and beheadings of non-Muslims, the enslavement of foreign children—especially girls; the denial of basic human rights to kidnap victims; the harboring of fugitives like Osama bin Laden and Idi Amin, then is this Islam? If it is, then it is no wonder that the rest of the civilized world sees the Islamic world as degenerate, cruel, heartless, ruthless, and totally inhuman.
One of the best things your group could do for the entire Middle East and the world is to work to overthrow the corrupt Al-Saud regime in Saudi Arabia. If your association could do this without installing an even crueller, more fundamentalist regime in Saudi Arabia, then we the mothers of the Islamic kidnapping epidemic of our precious children might be able to put our arms around them and kiss them again once in this lifetime. I fear this is too much to hope for. As long as the Saudis control the oil wells, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan controls Washington with his purse strings, then we have no hope of a normal life for our children and us. My daughter has a grandmother and grandfather who love her and who may die without seeing her again, since they are very old. She has uncles, aunts, cousins, a sister and brother, a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, and even a new nephew she has never seen. Islam has destroyed my family. There is nothing you can tell a mother with a broken heart that will excuse this behavior. These crimes against children are among the most despicable acts of Islamic cowardice I have yet seen—and I have seen many in my 51 years of life.
An American mother called Monica Stowers recently testified on Capitol Hill about her fruitless attempts to recover her two children, who were spirited away to the kingdom in 1985 by her estranged Saudi husband.
In 1990, during the reign of Bush the elder, she managed to get her son and daughter to the US embassy in Riyadh where she assumed they could expect sanctuary. Instead, a US official not only had her thrown out on the street, he also ordered a guard to drive the kids home to their father.
Another mother, Pat Roush, told how her two children were snatched from their Chicago home and flown to Saudi Arabia, where the youngest was recently forced into an arranged marriage. Like Stowers, she complained that US officials were more interested in making excuses for Saudi despotism than in arranging the return of her children.
Custody of Children (from Women and Islam)
Custody depends upon which Islamic School of Jurisprudence is involved. The traditional view is that boys are taken by the father after they have been weaned, that is at age two, while little girls leave their mothers at seven years of age. As this led, in many cases, to socially harmful consequences the Malechite School of Sunni Islam allows girls to stay with their mother and boys up until puberty. She does not get custody if she is not a fit person nor does she retain custody if she re-marries. Her mother, provided that they are not living together, or her former mother-in-law look after the children. The mother must not have a full-time job; she should have plenty of time to look after them.
"Not Without My Daughter"
The villain in this true story is Sayyed Bozorg Mahmoody.The title Sayyed signifies that he is a direct descendant of the Prophet. He was brought up by religious parents but went from Iran to the USA as a young man and did not then strictly observe Muslim customs. "Moody", as he was nicknamed studied, became an anaesthetist and was quite "Americanized" when he met Betty, a divorcee. After three years of courtship they married in a mosque but he made no efforts to convert her to Islam.
Several years later, however, in 1979, Moody was inspired by the revolutionary situation in Iran, participated in marches against the Shah, bought a high-powered radio receiver to listen to short-waves, read all the pro-Khomeini literature that he could and entertained young Iranian students. The Islamic religion started to assume a greater importance in his life.
In 1980 they had a daughter whom he named Mahtob, Moonlight. When she was four, Moody insisted on going for a two-week holiday to visit his relations in Iran. Betty did not want to go but was afraid that he might take Mahtob with him and that she would never see her again. Her husband swore on the Qur'an that they all would return to the USA; little did she know that one can break such an oath if it is for the greater good of Allah. Indeed any agreement with a non-believer may be broken by a believer.
When the fortnight expired, Betty discovered that the Iranian Legal Code considered that she and her daughter were Iranian citizens and, being women, second-class citizens at that. She could be executed if she tried to remove Mahtob from the Islamic Republic against her husband's wishes.
Moody became more and more under the sway of his family and the macho hero would hit Betty whenever he felt she needed it. He had his family spy on her and would not allow her to use the telephone. Someone accompanied her whenever she went out.
The customs and lack of hygiene disgusted her. Several times she was mobbed by revolutionary guards with machine guns because she showed a wisp of hair. The inconsistencies were incongruous: a children's TV program showed a woman giving birth to a baby-not that I disapprove of that-but the woman was still encumbered by a chador to cover her face. Similarly women would breast-feed in the streets and men urinate in the gutter.
For a while Betty made out to be accommodating to Islam to gain greater freedom from her husband. She found in a Qur'anic class of English-speaking women that wife-bashing was the norm.
Mahtob started school and with the other little five year olds had to yell out, "Death to America".
Betty made contact with the US Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy and when Moody found out, he threatened to kill her. He became less and less rational and no doubt would have dispensed with Betty but he needed her to liquidate his assets in the USA. He was prepared to allow her to return home to do this and to see her dying father but, of course, would not allow Mahtob to accompany her.
Betty had been lucky enough to find a safe-house in Teheran: some of the democratic forces were prepared to risk their lives to help people escape. They even paid up front for guides and transport out of their own pockets, with the chance of never being repaid.
One day when Moody was called away in an emergency they made their escape. Although it was winter and there was snow on the mountains they were, with the aid of Kurdish smugglers, able to flee to Turkey.
Safely back in the USA they have changed their names to protect themselves from the long arm of Iran. Apart from co-writing her book, Betty has gone on lecture tours to warn women against marrying Muslims. They may seem attentive lovers and doting fathers but in the background is the brainwashing, the sense of male superiority and the Allah-consciousness.
Over a thousand Western women and children are held against their will in Islamic countries.
Iranian Civil Code Article 1050:
The husband has the right to choose the place of family residence.
Iranian Civil Code Article 1169:
Upon the dissolution of the marriage, a woman loses the right of custody of their children to their father after the age of 7 for girls and 2 for boys.
A father has sole right of guardianship over his children. Upon his death, the paternal grandfather acquires this right. In the latter's absence anyone who had been nominated by the father is entitled to the guardianship.