NJ Dad: I Was Denied Custody Of Son For Being Muslim

PATERSON, N.J. (1010 WINS) — A New Jersey father says he’s being denied custody of his young son solely because he’s a Muslim.

At a news conference Tuesday, Muhammed Khalil told reporters including 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg that a Division of Youth and Family Services worker unleashed a barrage of insults at him in a crowded Paterson restaurant.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

Khalil, a green card holder originally from Egypt, said the case worker asked him “where is your knife? You’ll slit my throat” and also asked “where is your bomb strapped on you?”

Another Muslim woman, Sandy Dahmra, who was with Khalil at the restaurant, was allegedly told “go back to your country.”

Both Khalil and Dahmra said they had other comments directed toward them including “terrorist,” “Bin Laden lover” and “why don’t you call your Allah.”

The case worker also publicly declared he would never get his boy back, Khalil said.

Khalil has not seen his 6-year-old son since he was taken from his mother’s home a year ago and placed with foster parents for reasons unknown because of privacy laws. Khalil was not living there at the time and is separated from the boy’s mother.

Khalil wants an investigation and said the worker also violated privacy laws by disclosing the case in public. Ultimately, though, Khalil said he just wants his little boy back.

“I only want my son. I want my son,” he said, breaking into tears. “I think I have all the reason to have my son with me, give him toys, enjoy with him.”

Khalil claimed he has had run-ins with the case worker before, but that there were never any witnesses.

The Department of Children and Families said it was “aware of the alleged incident” and “is looking into this allegation.”

The agency said it “continues to have an ongoing dialogue” with CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), which is supporting Khalil in his fight.

  • diversitylover

    what the case worker did is totally outrageous, but not particularly surprising. I know khalil professionally, and he is a kind and gentle man. There is no reason why they have deprived him of his son. It is dyfs’s job to try to place a child first and formost with a family member until all investigations of allegations are complete. If anyone at dyfs has any sense, they’d hurry up and reunite father and son, and pray khalil is forgiving of their unprofessionalism and total disreguard for regulations.

  • diversitylover

    Khalil, I am so sorry this is happening to you. Anyone who knows you knows that what has happened here is wrong. There is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t have your son.

  • another victim of DYFS

    @Linda, until recently we were prevented from involving the Media by a judge who has now retired. Can you imagine why? The woman in the article Sandra Dahmra, isn’t Arab but was blasted with much of the same abuse. Thank you for being a voice of reason, DYFS has been given many opportunities to provide a valid & legal reason for their actions, both their initial actions & those since that point until now. CAIR & various media personalities have made every attempt to give DYFS a voice, but their silence speaks loudly.

    • skeptic

      Their silence is required by law.

      • another victim of DYFS

        @skeptic–[this can be easily researched for those who disagree or who do not know]. The judge could’ve put a ‘gag order’ on my ex-husband & I. But there has to be critieria to do that, there was no criteria to be applied to our case. Their silence is NOT required by law. There is something called freedom of speech & so many other things that I could go into to prove why the media didn’t have to be silent. The media is the voice of the people, the public has a right to know what’s happening. If for no other reason than to know where & how their tax dollars are being spent. Does the average citizen even know that their tax dollars are paying for the criminal judges & their cronies to do what they do?

  • Not buying it

    Just another case of a Muslim crying foul. Islam is not a race for crying out loud!

    • another victim of DYFS

      @Not buying it..who ever said that ‘Islam was/is a race’? All I know is as an ‘American’ of Native American descent, I have rights & my civil liberties & those of my entire family–including ‘my children’ have been seriously violated.

  • Michelle

    I’m sorry but I am not surprised that this DYFS worker said that. My best friend had her children taken from her for ridiculous reasons and they were put into foster care 3 days after they were born (twin boys). She was able to maintain custody of her 2 older girls. These boys were placed with foster parents who were hoping to adopt them. The DYFS worker told the foster parents that my friend is a horrible mother, has no relationship with her children and is a drug user. None of these things are true and that DYFS worker is no longer employed by the state. She now has her boys on overnights and for 5 days over Christmas, and on the other side you have foster parents with broken hearts, all due to an unprofessional, lying DYFS worker.

  • another victim of DYFS

    Neither the father or I, or any other relative have ever been accused or charged with anything to warrant such tragic steps taken by the DYFS. There has been a tremendous amount of tax-payer dollars spent to cover the many mistakes that DYFS has made. All of which have been at the expense of an innocent child’s well being & safety.

  • another victim of DYFS

    The truth is coming out day-by-day & will continue to come to light. DYFS is scrambling to cover their mistakes. Key DYFS ‘decision-makers’ have been fired, relocated or put on extended leave. Two key judges have also been taken out of the spotlight, one was transferred to another branch of the court & another went into retirement, at a time where other judges are being brought back from retirement to sit on the bench. At times, truth is stranger than fiction. But time reveals all, too bad my son is suffering & losing this precious time with his family.

  • another victim of DYFS

    @Muhammad, ‘violence begets violence’. Our entire family just wants him back home where he is loved & NOT abused or neglected.

  • another victim of DYFS

    Although I am no longer with Mr. Khalil, I will be the first one to stand up & speak for what a loving, kind & gentle father he is to our son. As a mother I only wish that all of my sons grow to be such fathers as he.
    The public has NOT heard the last of the damage that DYFS has done to my family & too many others.
    Truth is often difficult to imagine, but it remains the same.

    • skeptic

      yeah, actually, we have.

      • another victim of DYFS

        @skeptic—no, you have NOT heard the last of this matter. So many major steps have been taken already at this point, you’d be surprised. One day when all is said & done I’ll return & tell everyone here what the end results are. I will do this for those who are sympathetic/concerned as well as those who are interested in justice as well as the skeptics like yourself.

  • another victim of DYFS

    @Cookie: as the article mentions, Police were called to the scene [a crowded restaurant] where countless witnesses were interviewed by Police & their eyewitness accounts tell the whole story of the ‘lastest’ of this DYFS worker’s verbal attacks…no one mentioned the other families he has harassed. All will come out soon enough. GOD willing.

  • another victim of DYFS

    I am the ex-wife of Mohamed Khalil & most importantly the mother of the child caught in the middle of this tragedy. DYFS removed the child on unfounded allegations, which were not substantiated until today. The actual removal from my home was illegal & the State is taking an unwarranted stand to cover their mistakes. For some reason they have found this to be a more appropriate stance as opposed to taking into account of what they are doing to my son.
    When all is said & done my son will come home, but no one can give back the safety & security that my son had with his family who loves him. No one will be able to ‘make-up’ for the time he’s been kept from his older brothers who adore him. Never the less, we want him back home with the loving close family he knows.

    • skeptic

      you really ought to consider adhering to the gag rule that is in effect for all ongoing DYFS litigation, unless you want to spend time in jail for contempt of court.

      • another victim of DYFS

        @skeptic–the ‘gag order’ was disolved a long time ago. Firstly, when our civil liberties were violated & put out in the public. Secondly, the court had no choice but to allow us to speak out in the same ‘public’ forum as we were assaulted.

  • another victim of DYFS

    As an American citizen, by birth right & heritage I am appalled that such things can & do happen in this country. But you can never imagine that these assaults happen to families, until it happens to your family or someone close to you. In the past I would’ve thought the same as many of you, that there MUST ALWAYS be a valid reason for the State to remove children. Unfortunately, this is not always so.

  • samera

    good samaritan

    your ignorance of US immigration law is apparanet, he already has a green card whats he going to do with a lottery?

  • Jacqueline Gangemi

    AmericanCabbie . . Who said the mother is not American? Are you simply ASSuming that because she was married to a Muslim man that she is not American? Or ASSuming that she is also Muslim, so therefor she is not American.? I am an AMERICAN Muslim, I am married to a Muslim man from another country. Where would you deport me to? I have Native American ancestry, as well as European. . .and even the European side has been in the US so long that my ancestors have fought in every major war including the Revolutionary War . . . so where would you deport an AMERICAN to?

  • Cookie

    Children are usually taken away for cause. Frankly, I don’t believe this guy. A government case worker is going to go off on a racial rant in front of witnesses. Come on.

    • DH

      The child was taken away from the mother. As a father he still has a right to have custody of his son. Also, last time I checked case workers Government or otherwise, were still human. They can still be racist and have prejudices just like anyone else. The case worker needs to learn how to set aside their racial intolerance and do the job that they were paid to do. No one should have to experience being disrespected for trying to be a good parent and get custody of their children.

    • Takeem Anthony

      Ignorance is bliss, you seem 2 be ignoring the fact that there were witnesses, what were they just making it up….. Thank ALLAH that the final judgment is not up 2 u Goofy…..

      • another victim of DYFS

        Ameen YAROB! ALLAHU Kareem!

  • Linda J

    What unprofessional, nasty and foolish behavior for any employee, including one working for the government. Obviously, the DYFS employee is anti-Arab/Muslim and unable to hide or control his hatred of Middle Easterners. How sad it must be to live one’s life full of that sort of unbridled rage, the kind that would lead to an outburst like the one described in the article.

    I suspect that the allegations and the story are true. If they weren’t, wouldn’t those involved have stepped up and said something? And by the way–why aren’t they giving this man his son back? If they had a good and valid reason, they would have stated it. For the record. In this article.

    Perhaps there simply isn’t one.

    Looks to me like this man has been discriminated against. And I’m not surprised. Xenophobes and racists (especially haters of Muslims–both Arab and non-Arab) are everywhere these days. That includes the government.

    A full investigation should be conducted. And the press should be involved every step of the way.

    Then, hopefully, the truth will come out and man and his son can be reunited and this out-of-control DYFS employee will be fired, as it seems he should be.

    • skeptic

      No, actually, they would step up and say something. They don’t need to, and they aren’t allowed to. It’s easy to rant and rave against them when they are precluded from responding. Keep in mind that any action taken by a DYFS worker which results in removal is ultimately approved or disapproved by a judge.

      • another victim of DYFS

        @skeptic—‘wrong again’. Please research what you are speaking on before you do so. Everyone thinks that the judges have ‘ALL the say’ in these type of situations. Go to a law library or law website & you will NOT find anything to support that idea. DYFS is an entity all it’s own with Federal statues & guidelines that are beyond a judges reach. ONLY the Federal courts will ‘enforce’ the constitution, but they have no discretion otherwise. Federal courts are usually the ONLY courts that calls the actions of CPS agencies wrongful & they stand up to show the State level agencies that the law says otherwise. State level judges have alot of say, but not everything is up to their discretion.

    • another victim of DYFS

      @ Linda J–the DYFS worker & those above him were fired. Several others are under investigation. Cages have been rattled all the way to Trenton.

  • The Good Samaritan

    Sounds like this guy wants his 15 minutes of fame and a shot at free lottery.

    The Good Samaritan has spoken.

  • Muhammad

    What a woose? I woulda gave the social worker the beating of his life if he even dared spoke to me in that manner. He truly woulda hated the thought of ever becoming a social worker..

  • AmericanCabbie

    How about this: If the allegations are true, fire the case-worker and put him in jail.. If the allegations are false,, instant deportation for the father and mother. All-or-nothing – who’s gonna blink?

  • aldous huxley

    These allegations seem so outrageous, but I have heard other stories similar to this. So sadly, this story could be true.

    It is good that stories like these are brought out. Hopefully Mr. Khalil will get a fair investigation into the matter.

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