NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Pleasantville mother is fighting for sole custody of her 11-year-old son, claiming that her ex-husband is radicalizing the boy.
Nabila Albarghouthy, who describes herself as a proud American Muslim, said the boy’s father began attending more extremist mosques and taking their son, who has now withdrawn from school activities.
“I cannot stand by and watch my ex-husband instill fear and instill extreme injustice or hatred or negative thoughts,” she said. “I fear the continuation of this alienation and indoctrination of an extreme view. He tells me that I’m not a good Muslim, I’m not a good mom, I don’t dress appropriately.”
The lawyer for Albarghouthy’s ex-husband denies the allegations, calling them “false and outrageous.”
The boy’s school in Westchester contacted authorities when he told classmates that he was prepared to die for his god. In court filings, Albarghouthy said her son told her that he wants a cabinet full of guns just like his dad.
“My main concern is the safety and the well-being of my son,” Albarghouthy said. “I want my son back, he’s not the same beautiful 11-year-old boy that I’ve been raising. Before last year he was healthy, normal, growing, happy and since he’s changed.”
“She’s clearly retaliating against my client for filing a petition to award him custody of their son,” attorney Joy Joseph said in a statement. “And she is obviously hoping to use these false allegations both to defend against the charges that Isam [Albarghouthy’s ex] made against her in his custody petition and to gain leverage in her own motion for a change of custody that I just received yesterday. I’m appalled that these parents’ private custody dispute has been exposed and exploited in an apparent effort to capitalize on the current wave of Islamophobia and make some news.”
Albarghouthy wants the father to have only supervised visits.