“Germany Cites Koran in Rejecting Divorce”

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From the NYT:

A German judge has stirred a storm of protest here by citing the Koran in turning down a German Muslim woman’s request for a fast-track divorce on the ground that her husband beat her.

In a remarkable ruling that underlines the tension between Muslim customs and European laws, the judge, Christa Datz-Winter, said that the couple came from a Moroccan cultural milieu, in which she said it was common for husbands to beat their wives. The Koran, she wrote, sanctions such physical abuse.

News of the ruling brought swift and sharp condemnation from politicians, legal experts, and Muslim leaders in Germany, many of whom said they were confounded that a German judge would put 7th-century Islamic religious teaching ahead of modern German law in deciding a case involving domestic violence.

The woman’s lawyer, Barbara Becker-Rojczyk, said she decided to publicize the ruling, which was issued in January, after the court refused her request for a new judge. On Wednesday, the court in Frankfurt abruptly removed Judge Datz-Winter from the case, saying it could not justify her reasoning.

“It was terrible for my client,”Ms. Becker-Rojczyk said of the ruling.”This man beat her seriously from the beginning of their marriage. After they separated, he called her and threatened to kill her.”

While legal experts said the ruling was a judicial misstep rather than evidence of a broader trend, it comes at a time of rising tension in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, as authorities in many fields struggle to reconcile Western values with their countries’ burgeoning Muslim minorities. …

The entire story is here.

–Stephanie Farrior

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0 Responses to “Germany Cites Koran in Rejecting Divorce”

  1. brat says:

    This an absurd use of religion by an ostensively secular arm of a secular state. Very bad precedent.

  2. bob coley jr says:

    does this affect non fast-track divorces?

  3. Ann Bartow says:

    Good question; afraid I am not familiar with German divorce law so I do not know the answer. In South Carolina “no fault” divorces take a long time, and “fault” divorces are faster. The idea is that if there is no (e.g.) violence, there should be no hurry, and maybe with counseling and lots of “cooling off” time the marriage can be saved. Would not surprise me if the same was true in Germany but I just do not know.