Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Further evidence that courts all over the world believe Mommy knows best, even when she doesn't came with the news today that the High Court in Lahore, Pakistan, has ruled that Misbah Rana must leave her loving, affluent family and return to a bleak housing estate on the Scottish isle of Stornoway to live with her mother.
When I first wrote about this case, I noted how the child had sought her sister's help in fleeing her mother's care, and fervently desired to live with her father in Pakistan. This fact was confirmed again in court, when the child burst into uncontrollable weeping when the verdict that she would be forced to return to Scotland was announced.
It seems that the great social experiment of our era - the eradication of fathers from their children's lives - is continuing apace, even in countries previously seen to have tendencies to rule in favour of fathers, such as Muslim Pakistan.
Despite the fact that Misbah (or Molly as she was once known) has repeatedly acted and stated that she wishes to live with her family and father in Pakistan, where he is an affluent and caring man well respected in the community, it seems that the courts in two countries are insistent on ignoring her wishes.
Instead, they wish to foist her back into a bleak, windswept housing estate that is riven with drugs, and where she suffered racism, into the care of a mother who refused to even attend the hearing in Pakistan such is her love for her daughter.
A mother whose marriage fell apart after she had an affair, a mother who is apparently physically unwell, a mother who is accused of plying her own underage daughter with alcohol, a mother whose son Adam, Molly's older brother, left to return to his father as soon as he turned 18.
How is any of this in the interests of the child? Her interests have been expressed and utterly ignored. Instead, the British media were more than happy to accuse her father of abducting her, and reprinted her mother's lies that she was being taken to Pakistan for an arranged marriage. Thankfully, now that the full truth has emerged, their tone has changed somewhat.
But despite the augmentation of the media coverage, the facts remain heartbreaking. A child must be separated from the environment and family she loves because her selfish mother, who was not even inclined to attend the hearing about her daughter's future, wants her back.
And that's that, because Mommy knows best, even when she doesn't, in the eyes of the law the world over.