Friday, March 23, 2007

A Cultural Cringe Too Far

Even the Guardian's raising a metaphorical eyebrow at this one :

A German judge who refused a Moroccan woman a fast-track divorce on the grounds that domestic violence was acceptable according to the Qur'an has been removed from the case following a nationwide outcry.

The judge, Christa Datz-Winter, said the German woman of Moroccan descent would not be granted a divorce because she and her husband came from a "Moroccan cultural environment in which it is not uncommon for a man to exert a right of corporal punishment over his wife," according to a statement she wrote that was issued by a Frankfurt court. "That's what the claimant had to reckon with when she married the defendant."

The 26-year-old mother of two had been repeatedly beaten and threatened with death by her husband.

When the woman protested against the judge's decision, Ms Datz-Winter invoked the Qur'an to support her argument. In the court she read from verse 34 of Sura four of the Qur'an, An-Nisa (Women), in which men are told to hit their wives as a final stage in dealing with disobedience. The verse reads: "... as to those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them and leave them alone in the sleeping places and beat them".


Anonymous said...

This from the country where this happened 'If you don't take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits' (Telegraph 2005)


Anonymous said...

(Although an urban legends web site claims the Telegraph story was not true)

Anonymous said...

Recently another Moroccan man gouged his wife's eyes out because she would not have sex with him.

I think The Brussels Journal or Majority rights has the full story.

verity said...

This is why islam has to be destroyed. And also why the EU has to be destroyed.

(The German prostitution story was a windup so I think tottenhamlad should think twice before contributing destructive rubbish and cheapening the argument. Or perhaps that was the point?)

Voyager said...

Sorry you misquote the case.

The 54 year old Judge heard a Divorce Petition which normally requires a minimum One Year Separation before it can be granted.

The lawyer for the petitioner wanted an immediate divorce (which you can get for adultery) under Rule 1565 BGB

(2) Leben die Ehegatten noch nicht ein Jahr getrennt, so kann die Ehe nur geschieden werden, wenn die Fortsetzung der Ehe für den Antragsteller aus Gründen, die in der Person des anderen Ehegatten liegen, eine unzumutbare Härte darstellen würde.

This can be granted in exceptional circumstances if living with the spouse can lead to "unreasonable hardship"

The Judge responded that marrying a Muslim meant she had accepted any such hardship as it was laid down in The Koran by which she was married; and that she should await 12 months of separation from her spouse as per usual

The Case was taken over by a superior judge.

The spin put on this by the media is untruthful

Laban said...

verity - I also covered the German prostitute story ... I need a corrections column.

verity said...

Well, as though it needs to be reinforced, the lesson here, girls, is, don't marry a muslim because you will be deemed, quite rightly, to have accepted the terms when you went into it.

The police should go and feel the man's collar though, because the country of Germany didn't agree to abide by their Dark Ages constructs, so the sleazy, cowardly little woman-beater should be arrested for assault.

Anonymous said...

The story about the Algerian ripping his wife's eyes out can be found at 'Western Resistance'.

Squander Two said...

I also covered the German prostitution story at the time, and was not and still am not convinced that the story was completely false. My wife, whose first language is German, translated a couple of articles from the German press for me at the time, just to check.

What was certainly true was that German politicians hadn't bothered thinking through all the implications of legalising prostitution and had therefore passed somewhat half-arsed, badly drafted legislation (no, really) that left plenty of grey areas, with lots of people being understandably confused about the law and having to make bits up as they went along, until the legislative holes were finally filled some months later. There was some controversy about this in Germany at the time. What I concluded was that, while it wasn't policy that the long-term unemployed had to take such jobs if offered them, there was a spate of confusion in which some bureaucrats interpreted the law that way until their wiser superiors overruled them. Such is always the way in bureaucracies, even without brand-new legislation with gaping great holes in it.

Also, I think I remember that the controversy that got the international attention arose not from a woman's being offered a job as a prostitute, but from her being offered a job in a brothel -- behind the bar, I think. That's exactly the sort of grey area likely to lead to mistakes: it wasn't sex work, so why should she be allowed to turn it down?

That Snopes link does the same thing that all the other "debunkings" I saw did: it points out the discrepancies between the English and German versions and states that those discrepancies prove the story entirely false, even while admitting that the German original says that there were isolated cases.