Christian girl in religious fostering row 'misses' Muslim foster carers, court hears

The 5-year-old Christian girl from Tower Hamlets who is the subject of a religious fostering issue now "misses" her Muslim foster carers whom she reportedly shared a good relationship with, the East London Family Court has heard.

(REUTERS / Olivia Harris)A police officer patrols as "supercars" hired for Morpeth School graduation day arrive at the Rickman Street Estate in Tower Hamlets, east London. June 21, 2013.

The mother of the child, whose name has not been disclosed, complained that her daughter's Muslim foster carers had taken away her crucifix and prohibited her from eating her favorite food which had some pork. During a directions hearing, Judge Khatun Sapnara said an investigation into the issue found that the carers in question "have not behaved in a way that is inconsistent with the provision of warm and appropriate care." However, she added that the city should be allowed to defend its decision, The Telegraph detailed.

In addition, the judge said the report submitted by Tower Hamlet suggested that the child's maternal grandmother was upset by the complaints. She noted that both the girl and her grandmother have "a warm relationship with one of the foster carers."

"The child has expressed a view to wanting to see that foster carer and says that she misses that foster carer," Judge Sapnara said.

Last month, Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs spoke on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme after media had accused the city of putting the child in distress by placing her under Muslim foster care. He said those stories were not based on fact and explained they had carefully determined the match for the girl, East London Lines reported.

Mayor Biggs' comments came in the wake of a Times story on Aug. 28 which claimed that the Christian child had begged not to be returned to her Muslim foster carers because they did not speak English. The Tower Hamlets council denied the report and explained that the mixed race family temporarily taking care of the girl actually spoke English.

Police had taken away the child from her mother and the latter is reportedly going to undergo alcohol and cocaine testing. If she is deemed unfit to care for her daughter, the child could be placed permanently under foster care. In December, a full hearing will be held to determine the future of the Christian girl.