CAIR Action Alerts Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Alert #58 1511 K Street N.W., Suite 807, Washington, D.C. 20005 Tel: (202) 638-6340 Fax: (202) 638-6412 E-Mail:


Washington, DC, August 22, 1995 - On Friday, August 18, ABC television's 20/20 program featured a story about a Muslim family in Texas whose children were taken away after the father was falsely accused of abusing his daughter. As the program pointed out, the Albanian Muslim father (Sadri Krasniqi) was accused of sexually abusing his 4-year-old daughter at a public sporting event in which his son was competing. Two doctors who examined the girl said their was no evidence of abuse.
Experts testified that the man s actions were entirely appropriate in the Albanian culture and that there was no abuse. The man was later found innocent of this charge, but not before both of his children were taken from the home and offered for adoption to a family who forced the children to eat pork, wear crosses and convert to Christianity. The mother (Sebhat Krasniqi) was never accused of abusing the children, but her parental rights were terminated along with those of the father.
Throughout this legal process, the Texas department of Child Protective Services failed to take into account its own guidelines to seek placement of the children with the closest ethnic and religious match. The family s attorney says this was due to the bias of case workers involved in investigating the case.
Two federal lawsuits have been filed against state agencies on behalf of the family. Another lawsuit seeking to overturn the adoption will also be filed soon.


(CAIR will issue updates as the case develops.)
A) Offer du aa for the family.
B) Contact the individuals and organizations in the list below. Demand that this case be reviewed and the children returned to their parents.
C) Donate funds to help the family. Donations may be sent to: Sadri and Sebhat Krasniqi, c/o Khalid Hamideh, Attorney at Law, 1301 Northwest Highway, Suite 212, Garland, TX 75041, Tel: (214) 271-4007.

Before this all began, the family owned four restaurants. They had to sell all this property to pay legal bills and living expenses. Most of the family s legal work is being done free of charge or at cost, but there are still tremendous costs involved in trying these cases.


(Send one copy of your letter to each address below.)


There have been new developments in the case of a Dallas Muslim family whose children were taken away when the father was falsely accused of child abuse. Since the case gained national attention on ABC's 20/20 program, thousands of Muslims have signed petitions to Texas Governor George Bush asking that the case be re-opened. CAIR has requested a meeting with Governor Bush to deliver the petitions and to discuss the case.
In another development, The Dallas Morning News ran an angry letter to the editor from Harold Gaither, Jr., the judge who terminated the parents rights.
In the letter, headlined Judge Gaither: I cannot apologize but others should, the judge denied the accusation, calling the original 20/20 report 'trash journalism,' and repeated the accusations against the family's father, despite the fact that the man has been cleared of all charges in a court of law. His other comments in the letter included: The defense raised by Mr. Krasniqi was that, since molesting young girls was acceptable in the Muslim culture, he did not perform the acts with sexual intent.
These comments do not fit the facts of the case. An article (9/17/95) in The Houston Chronicle described the process in Judge Gaither's courtroom that lead to the parents losing their rights: "The civil trial jury did not hear a raft of witnesses...who testified there was no physical evidence of sexual abuse, that Krasniqi in no way fit the profile of an abuser, that the children never had been harmed and were in fact cherished and protected, that the entire case had been a fundamental, cultural, ethnic and religious misunderstanding."
The Dallas Morning News (9/9/95) also quoted Judge Gaither as saying he would not apologize for his actions "until hell freezes over."