A man who wanted his three children to be brought up in his Islamic faith instead of their mother’s Christian beliefs has failed in his court bid.
The children will continue to be raised with their Scottish mother but can be taught about Islam when visiting their father.
The mother was not a practising Christian until she split from her Muslim husband, when she started taking her children to church and Sunday school.
Sheriff Ian Dunbar warned that forcing the children to grow up as Muslims could have caused them “distress” as they attend a school which celebrates Christmas and Easter.
Mr Dunbar said: “The day-to-day circumstances of the children should dictate what is in their best interests.
“I have therefore reached the conclusion that it is not in the best interests of the children that a specific issue order be made that they be brought up in the Muslim faith.”
The Muslim man involved moved from Egypt to Scotland in 2002 after marrying a Scottish woman. They had a daughter and twin boys, but separated in 2010.
The boys were circumcised when they were six months old because of their father’s Islamic beliefs.
He was seeking an order from Dunfermline Sheriff Court to say the children should be brought up in his faith.
Sheriff Ian Dunbar said: “I have no doubt at all that if the parties had children in Egypt they would have been raised as Muslims.
“But the children were born in Scotland and are being raised here with their mother as their primary carer. That is a change of circumstance which has some bearing on what may or may not be in the best interests of the children.”
He added: “In this case the children are living in a Christian household with a Christian mother.
“They are at the school which has a Christian overlay because of participation in Christian events such as Christmas and Easter.
“If the children were not to be able to participate in these events or if they were to be made to feel uncomfortable participating in these events because of the views of their father, then I do feel that has potential to mark them out as different from the other children and could potentially cause them some distress.”