One of the highlights of my sojourn in Morocco in the early 90's was visiting the orphanages at Azrou and Ain Leuh, small towns located in the beautiful mid-Atlas mountain region of northern Morocco. The orphanages were both unique. My typical understanding of an orphanage until then was a place where a staff gathered dozens, if not hundreds, of parentless or abandoned children who slept in dormitory type rooms and were given food, education, and other basic necessities of life.
It was different at Azrou and Ain Leuh. From as far back as World War II, Americans went to these towns with the vision of a new type of orphanage. Couples would take in a smaller number of children, raise them as their own, and commit themselves to the children until they were old enought to leave home and live on their own. It was at least a 20-year committment for each couple, and some of them stayed a second 20-year term to raise an additional family. Two American women I met at Ain Leuh were in their 80's, still had stories to tell of American soldiers passing through during the war, and were still involved in raising their children. It was one of the best examples I have ever seen that combined the Western values of volunteerism, sacrifice, and compassion (although I am sure none of the parents would agree with my assessment that they had "sacrificed" their lives).
I had almost forgotten about the orphanages over the years until I read the news a few weeks ago that Morocco suddenly deported 16 foreign workers from the Ain Leuh orphanage. It was one of the saddest stories I've read in a long time. To think of where the young children are at this minute, and the life they will face over the coming years in comparison to the love they experienced from their adoptive parents, is heartbreaking.
At their website discussing the deportation, the parents wrote, "We also appeal to our supporters around the World to not react to this situation and use the internet or any other means to say anything that might be viewed as detrimental about the Moroccan authorities." I agree. I don't blame the Moroccan authorities, I blame Islam. The Moroccan authorities, as well as the children now abandoned and without parents for the second time in their lives, are all victims of Muhammad.
The reason given by the authorities for the expulsion of the parents was that the children were being enticed to leave Islam. Muhammad has always been terrified of losing his followers. During his Prophetic Career he ruled that Muslim men could marry non-Muslim women with the stipulation that their children be raised Muslim. Muslim women, however, were not free to marry non-Muslim husbands because that would open the possibility the children would not grow up as Muslims. He declared in the Hadith that apostates from Islam should be killed, a ruling that is still applied today in some parts of the world. His fear extended to the point of killing the poetess Asma bint Marwan, mother of five children, because she had written poetry he found threatening.
Adoption is not allowed in Islam. Again, this goes back to Muhammad's paranoia after the inhabitants of Medina looked askance at his marriage to his daughter-in-law Zainab, wife of his adopted son Zaid. Muhammad's response was to assert that Zaid was no longer his son, and adoption was no longer legal.
Moderate Muslims today like to speak of their "evolved" understanding of Muhammad, and a "new" Islam that is more in tune with the values of the 21st century. For any such Muslim reading this article, I would say here is a good place to start. Throw your weight behind allowing the non-Moroccan parents of these orphans back into the country so they can continue loving and raising their children. And while you are at it, use your influence to have Muslim-majority countries leave Muhammad behind at least to the extent of being willing to make a few changes in their adoption laws.