An appalling story — but the father is acting in accord with Islamic law. From Ilya Meyer in FrontPage, with thanks to Rochi:
In June 2004, Swedish mother Elizabeth Krantz’s five children were kidnapped from Sweden by Krantz’s estranged Palestinian husband Ismail Nowajah. The children — Adam, Amina, Zakarias, Miriam and Sara — range in age from six to sixteen. They were taken to the Gaza Strip against their will and in contravention of Swedish law and have since been incarcerated in separate locations. Their mother, from a small town outside Gothenburg on Sweden’s west coast, has custody of the children, with visitation rights granted to her estranged husband.
Ismail Nowajah says he disapproves of the upbringing his children were getting in Sweden, where they were born, and that he wishes to bring them up according to a stricter Islamic code, which he says cannot be done in Sweden but is possible in Gaza. Nowajah has signaled, however, that he is willing to release the children back into the custody of their mother in exchange for five million Swedish kronor (about 720,000 US dollars).
The children are Swedes. They are unfamiliar with Arab culture and have no knowledge of the Arabic language. They are thus unable to communicate in the environment into which they have been forcibly placed. They are denied schooling, and 15-year-old Miriam suffers from an unusual form of diabetes — type 1 — that requires special medication, treatment that has thus far been denied her by her father.
“A Sensitive Issue”
Commenting on the case, the Swedish Foreign Office noted that the situation is highly sensitive since the children have dual nationality — Swedish and Palestinian — and that according to Palestinian law the children are wards of their father.
This is a remarkable point of view, on several accounts. First of all, Swedish law applies to Swedish citizens, and in fact the children were kidnapped from Sweden. No other legislation is relevant until the children have been returned home. The father is in breach of Swedish law for a crime committed on Swedish soil.
The second consideration is the illogic of the Foreign Office’s standpoint: the children do not – and in point of law cannot – have dual nationality. There is no country called Palestine. While the emergence of such a country may well be a highly desirable goal for reasons of geopolitical interest, Palestine does not exist today. The children therefore do not have dual nationality, and Sweden accordingly need take no such consideration into account.
“Citizens” Yet “Stateless”: Politics at Play
Even more remarkable about Sweden’s claim that the children Palestinian citizens is Sweden’s role in providing asylum to countless Palestinians as “stateless refugees”. Apparently, these people are either stateless and nationals – depending on the political capital at stake.
Read it all.