Maha Rahim was denied custody of her son based purely on the country she is from

Maha Rahim was denied custody of her son based purely on the country she is from

A Puerto Rican mother has spoken of her anguish after losing a custody battle, purely because of where she comes from.

Maha Abdel Rahim, a former university professor was arrested in December after refusing to return her toddler to her ex-husband in mainland US under a court-ordered agreement.

Puerto Rican police were acting on a court order issued by authorities in California, where a judge had awarded primary physical custody to Kamal’s father. The details of the judge’s order were not immediately available, but Rahim has said the judge believes that Puerto Rico is too violent and does not have an adequate education or health care system.

Speaking exclusively to the Akashic Times, Ms Rahima said of the verdict: “This is a nightmare, it has been 2 years without my son. He was only 4 years old. He is now in bad health no one take care about him. The judgment is discriminatory to peurto rican citizens. I live in San Juan the capital of Puerto Rico. San Juan is one of great place to visit. We don’t have gang’s problems, we have good education and we are a good place to live. We have problems like every country but never have we had a shooting at school or kidnapping.”

The boy’s Syrian father could not be reached for comment.

Rahim, who lives in Puerto Rico with her Palestinian father and Syrian mother, has said she wants custody of her son because she claims that the boy’s father, Rasim Hallum, is a strict Muslim and plans to take the boy back to his native war-torn country of Syria.
The couple began fighting over the boy in 2010 in a battle that has involved both local and US courts.

Mr Hallum is the owner of Indio Carwash in California, and met Ms Rahim in 2005. The case was tried in the Indio Family Court in California.

Despite the fact that both parents were living in Puerto Rico originally, the case was tried in the USA.

Ms Rahim alleges that it was because her husband accused her of child abduction and lodged his complaint with the child recovery unit in Riverside California, near where he works.

After turning up to the court, to explain the situation, both parents went to mediation. She also sued him in a Puerto Rican court, but due to the case taking so long in the Puerto Rican court, the Indio Family Court in California took jurisdiction over the case.

It was then that Mr Hallum paid child psychiatrist Diana Herrington MFT to conduct 730 evaluations, which concluded that Puerto Rico was not a safe country. As a result, Ms Rahim is no longer able to see her child because of the fact that *one* psychiatrist concluded that her country is unsafe is unsafe.
Now we have no intention of getting embroiled into a debate over who is the better parent. Our story is based purely on the fact that custody was not granted due to the location of the mother.

If courts are allowed to decide that the reason for depriving one child of its family is due to a country being “unsafe” this allows a dangerous precedent to be set into motion, which would allow children to be taken away on that basis alone.

Rahim called it an “unjustified condemnation of Puerto Rico.”

“This is a violation of both the mother and child’s rights,” she wrote in a petition.

Maha called the verdict an 'unjustified discrimination against Puerto Rico

Maha called the verdict an ‘unjustified discrimination against Puerto Rico

After the verdict, thousands of Puerto Rican’s descended outside of the women’s jail where she was held.

In addition, 5,000 people have joined several Facebook pages demanding that Rahim be released and be given custody of her 4-year-old son, Kamal. More than 5,000 people also signed a petition at addressed to U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. senators and representatives asking that a California court award custody to Rahim.

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