A Franklin County Children Services worker who is accused of violating the rights of a Muslim family said agency files contain references to their religion because it was a source of conflict between the parents and children.

Amber Spires told jurors in U.S. District Court that Naim and Hadiya AbdulSalaam's strict practices were an issue with their children, especially their 16-year-old son, Mandela, who was the first to be placed in foster care, in 2003.

"That was part of the argument between Mandela and the family," Spires testified yesterday in the trial of a lawsuit against her. "They are strict, and they are Islamic."

Mrs. AbdulSalaam's attorney, Michael Moore, asked Spires whether she would have noted that a family was "strict Christians."

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