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This is definitely a head scratcher. It makes absolutely no sense, and no reasonable explanation that I'm aware of has been offered by the judge herself to explain the "anomaly." I wonder if the judge had received any personal threats prior to her ruling.

Unfortunately, not really an anomaly. You can even read about it in the Spiegel here or in Sueddeutsche here (both in German). Why did this decision provoke such an uproar?

>> The Koran, she [the judge] wrote, sanctions such physical abuse.

Which, unfortunately, is true. But many politicians don't want to hear about that.

"Why did this decision provoke such an uproar?"

Why? To begin with, the Koran is not the basis of the law in Germany. For a judge to dismiss criminal behavior because of "old world" customs is nonsensical. The fact that other misguided judges have made similar judgments in the past does not make it any more palatable in this case.

If a Catholic or Protestant German husband beat his wife, would the outcome be the same?

In my "old world," Holocaust denial and the wearing and display of Nazi paraphernalia is protected "speech." In Germany, it is a crime. Should the laws of my home country or my religion take precedence over German law inside Germany?

It thought it clear that my question was a rhetorical one. Of course I agree with you. But as I said, that was not the first case where "traditions" played a role in a decision.

>> Should the laws of my home country or my religion take precedence over German law inside Germany?

An interesting question. Because the answer is: Sometimes, they do (in German).

@Mir, is that the law? I read the bablefish translation and that leaves a lot to be desired, but the gist as I understand it is that foreign marital law supersedes German law?

According to German family law, you can only seek a divorce if you have lived seperated from your spouse for at least one year. There is, however, an exception to this rule. If having to wait for a year before being divorced would constitute an "unbearable hardship", you can seek a divorce immediately. Typically, this exception applies when the husband has been violent.

In this case, the woman (who by the way is a naturalized German citizen) stated that she had been beaten, threatened and stalked by her husband, obviously an "unbearable hardship". The judge didn't agree by saying that the Koran allows the husband to beat his wife. As a consequence, the woman would only be able to seek divorce until the standard one-year-period had passed.

This affair caused a major uproar. Since then, the judge has stated that she must have had a blackout. She is now deeply sorry for her decision.

It is interesting to know that the judicial system in Germany is extremely leniant toward Muslim perpetrators. German courts have handed out milder sentences to Muslims in many cases.

One case a couple of years ago in the city of Bremen was especially infamous. Three Kurds had murdered a young couple because the two lived together without being married. The court ruled that the murderers must have felt it would be justified to kill the young man and the young woman because a sexual relationship between unmarried people is a major sin according to islamic values. The killers were sentenced only for manslaughter instead for murder and received a very mild sentence. However, this verdict fortunately was overturned later.

Evidently this introduction of Sharia law isn't a unique example of European "multi-culturalism" in revising Western values to the standards of the dark ages to suit the noble savages of the third world. Check out the classic SPON bait and switch in this interview with economist Jagdish Bhagwati. In the blurb after the headline, which SPON usually reserves for the heavy propaganda, we read, "Im SPIEGEL-ONLINE-Interview wünscht er sich von der Administration mehr Mut zur... ein Ende der schleichenden Amerikanisierung." ("In an interview with SPIEGEL-ONLINE he expresses the wish that the (European) Administration would show it is serious about... putting a stop to creeping Americanization.") "Creeping Americanization" is usually a code phrase for the introduction of "U.S. social conditions" as they are represented in the alternate reality of SPON propaganda. But wait! Bhagwati doesn't quite mention "creeping Americanization" in the usual SPON sense. Let's have a look at the actual interview:

Bhagwati: ... Die einzige echte Kritik, die ich an der EU habe, ist dass sie in gewisser Weise zu amerikanisch geworden ist.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Wie das?
Bhagwati: Sie will anderen Ländern zu oft ihre Sichtweisen aufzwingen. Beim Europäischen Parlament gibt es die Neigung, anderen Staaten zu sagen: Klar wollen wir Handel mit Euch, aber Ihr müsst das und das und jenes dafür erfüllen. Ihr braucht Öko-Etiketten oder wir belegen Euch mit Zöllen. Wenn Ihr im Indischen Ozean fischt, bitte nur mit bestimmten Netzen, damit keine Schildkröten darin verenden - denn dann gibt es Sanktionen. Das ist eine Art von Neokolonialismus. Beruhigt Euch! Es geht hier um arme Länder, die ihren Weg zu demokratischen Werten und einer funktionierenden Wirtschaft suchen. Sie werden schon selbst darauf kommen, was richtig ist. Sie wollen jedenfalls nicht von der EU herumgeschubst werden, auch wenn sie noch so gute Absichten hat.

Translation:
Bhagwati: The one real criticism I can level at the EU is that, in some ways, it has become too American.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: (Perking up their ears) In what way?
Bhagwati: It wants to force its point of view on other countries. One often sees a tendency in the European parliament to say to other countries, sure, we want to trade with you, but only if you fulfil this, that, and the other condition. You need European certification, or we'll impose fines on you. When you fish in the Indian Ocean, please, only with certain kinds of nets, so you don't kill any turtles by mistake - otherwise we'll have to impose sanctions. That's a form of neo-colonialism. Calm yourselves! We're talking about countries that are trying to feel their way towards democratic values and a functioning economy here. They will eventually do what's right on their own. In any case, they don't want to be pushed around by the EU, no matter how good their intentions are.

Voila! "Creeping Americanization" has suddenly been redefined to mean an "American" insistence that other countries not rape the environment in the process of acquiring goods they sell to us. Since this is the form of "creeping Americanization" SPON must have been referring to in its propaganda banner, does this mean the editors want the EU to stop trying to force Kyoto down our throats? Just asking.

"Muslim leaders agreed that Muslims living here must be judged by the German legal code."

Muslims in Germany seem to be less radicalized than Muslims in other European countries (Britain, France). Is this because most Muslims in Germany are of Turkish descent or is German law in reality less lenient than in the rest of Europe?

@ Mike H.

That's basically right. Maybe DMK will allow me to translate a few bits from the article:

Mr. Rohe, you brought to attention that Islamic law is already being applied In Germany. What do you mean?

When a Jordanian man marries a Jordanien woman, Jordanian marriage laws have to be applied. And when both want to divorce, it also happens in accordance to Jordanian law.

Why is Jordanian law being applied in Germany?

In Germany, of course German law is the basic. The constitution, administrative law, criminal law are applicable to anyone. But when individuals do business or enter relationships, foreign law can be applied when foreigners are involved. Which law exactly has to be used is regulated in the international private law, which mostly rules according to the nationality of the individuals.

Aren't German authorities and courts overwhelmed when they have to apply Jordanian law for example?

It's true that Jordanian marriage law doesn't play a big role in German education for legal experts. But they can work themselves into it. In difficult cases they can alway get an opinion of an expert.

"Since then, the judge has stated that she must have had a blackout."

So, "temporary insanity" is a valid defense in Germany, too?

What about "temporary stupidity"?

It is a bit funny to watch the germans explain and back fill this decision. The reasons have been all over the place from the judge blacked out to she was under threat.

To find this actually taking place in the german judiciary is not surprising given how this judiciary works. It very much aligns itself with the perpetrator than the victim.

Equally what probably has everyone so upset is this is the most obvious demonstration that in germany as most European nations there is a parallel and separate society alive and well. As much as many Europeans want to deny what Mark Styen wrote about the future of Europe, they need to get use to this future or do something to change it.

Joe

Many people are upset about this incident.
And I have another explanation: Maybe it was her intention to cause an uproar (remember the opera that was cancelled?).

Chrisimo,

AHA for the greater good. A warning shot.

Do you really think so?

Well, no, I don't think so. But it would have been a clever way to criticize Islam. At least in the world of political correctness.

It seems this time the German media have an answer. One report says:

Judge Datz-Winter declined to comment. But a spokesman for the court, Bernhard Olp, said she did not intend to suggest that violence in a marriage is acceptable or that the Koran supersedes German law. “The ruling is not justifiable, but the judge herself cannot explain it at this moment,” he said.

Judge Datz-Winter herself narrowly avoided injury 10 years ago in a case involving a man and woman whose relationship had come apart. When the man shot up her courtroom, the judge escaped by diving under her desk.

German papers have suggested that that ordeal may have affected her judgment in this case, which the spokesman denied.

Probably this writer read this article:

Richterin Datz-Winter bedauert ihre Entscheidung inzwischen. Ihr sei die politische Tragweite und Sprengkraft nicht bewusst gewesen, sagte der Sprecher des Frankfurter Amtsgerichts, Bernhard Olp. Keinesfalls habe sie mit dem Verweis auf religiöse Regeln diese billigen wollen. Das sei nie ihre Absicht gewesen. „Im Rückblick versteht sie es selber nicht“, sagte Olp. Nach seinen Angaben entkam die Richterin vor zehn Jahren nur knapp dem Tod: Während eines laufenden Unterhaltsprozesses hatte am 14.März 1997 ein Ex-Polizist seine 33-jährige Lebensgefährtin im Büro der Richterin erschossen, eine Anwältin schwer verletzt. Die Richterin konnte damals mit einer Kollegin flüchten.

Stockholm syndrome, anyone?

Franz,

This is the weaving and dodging and back filling I was making reference too.

It is quite funny given how well PC and MC are the cornerstones of germany and much of euroland.

joe - Traumatised women are one of the major risk groups for conversion to Islam.

Franzis,

Some times it appears most of europe is traumatised over one thing or another. Think the Frua will convert?

And speaking of the German judicial system, I see Monhaupt has been released.

Hmmm, sentenced to FIVE life sentences...and out after 24 years. The victims really DID get life sentences that they can't get out of. Doesn't really seem fair, does it.

Ah, but of course, it's all relative. Forget the victims. They're gone -- a sunk cost, if you will. According to Antje Vollmer, what really matters is that these poor ex-terrorists have "been longer in prison than any Nazi criminal." (I guess Rudi doesn't count.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigitte_Mohnhaupt

Ah, politicians... Gotta love 'em.

Argh! My last post referred to Pamela's comment, which I forgot to quote in my commet.

"And speaking of the German judicial system, I see Monhaupt has been released."

In the german judicial system the faith of the victims has never been a huge concern. It seems this has a historical precedence.

What this ruling really states if MC is alive an well in the Fatherland where it is now OK to beat your wife. It seems only a short step to where the so called "honor killings" will become acceptable.

Then again the Mohnhaupt release seems to have already validated they have.

joe - Your "Frau" is leading a sleepwalking nation under a foul compromise coalition through the hades of Al-Alemania, and hopefully out of it. As far as conversion is concerned, I do expect her to kick off a major government reshuffle the next second after her Vice Chancellor caves in.

Pamela - The veteran terrorist was released with a few days uncertainty to give her a chance to escape into privacy. I think this is a good thing, the last thing we need would be a terrorist sort of Natascha Kampusch.

Franzis

You mean she is going to go to Lebanon?

I going post haste to Germany where I pinch every single female teutonic butt that I can (here's hoping one of said butts belongs to wonderful judge lady!) and then throw myself on mercy of her court because here, in my town, pinching butt is good clean fun and not illegal.
Of course pinching butt is not sanctioned by AyurVeda, but I think Sweet lady judge will forgive because she understands that transgression by custom and transgression by religion are really same thing--Simple Transgression.
Nice Word--Butt; Nice Action--pinching; Nice Judge--forgiving!
Hope ladies with pinched teutonic butts don't kill me first!

joe - Are you referring to Merkel or to Mohnhaupt?

eliXelx - You may not risk your life, but you may risk a Stoiber treatment from Gabriele Pauli.

/touristguide

Franzis,

Mohnhaupt - that seems to be the favorite place for reformed terrorists.

The Frau will not go she is busy building euroland. Her plate is really full at the moment.

Too bad she does not have time to address the issue of Iran's kidnapping of the Brits. I guess she cannot find the "soft power" drawer in her big desk.

Then again as the UK is not a member in good standing of the chocolate sumit mabye she does not consider them to be citizens of the EU.

joe - Would you expect Mohnhaupt to get a job with Al Manar Television, or any other frontend that would make it difficult for the Israelis to hit her?

Germany is in a difficult position to adress the issue of the British hostages, it´s just another no-veto-land, with its own blackmail drama in the background.

From the information available to me, it is not even entirely clear whether the Persians and the English are referring to the same line on the map. But Daniel Pipes argues that the Arvandrud/Shatt-el-Arab controversy is not a legacy from the British Empire but from our WWI allies the Ottoman Empire. He points out that the Iraqi understanding how the thalweg principle was to be extended into the twelve mile zone was developed in the immediate aftermath of the Baathist coup, not long before the Saddam regime made its first territorial claims against Kuwait as well. Specifically, I do have no information why that is so that the Iraqi-Persian sea border in the disputed are follows a 30° bend. We do have here what one newsroom captionwriter strikingly termed a "GPS SNAFU."

What do you expect Angela Merkel to do, present her own map for the Persians and English to pierce their coordinates?

PS: This American artist gives your chocolate mantra an entirely new meaning (warning: this link is not for weak nerves).

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