German judge rules Koran allows wife abuse

I just heard this on the radio and I’m so furious the only thing I could think of to do was to start a thread here. Damn, I’m angry!

That story just doesn’t make sense.

I’d have to read the actual letter or decision or whatever that the judge wrote.

Plus, it says “letter” and I don’t understand what a “letter” from the judge in question has to do with anything.


This story is a little bit clearer.

You aren’t clear about what exactly angers you or what you’re pitting. Is it that the judge rationalized an acceptable reason for spousal abuse?

You’re right, that does make a little more sense.

The judge did not refuse a divorce, rather, she refused to allow for a “fast track divorce” to be paid for by the state. Also, she did not do anything which forces the woman in question to be in contact with the abuser–rather, the judge was under the understanding (apparently correctly) that the abuser is under a restraining order already.

So before I can know whether there’s something wrong with the judge’s decision, I would need to know what the grounds for the request for funds for a “fast track divorce” were, and whether it is typical to grant funds on such grounds.

It is mentioned that in a letter written by the judge, she mentions that in Moroccan culture, husbands have “custody” of the wives. But the story doesn’t say why she mentions this. I simply don’t have the resources available to me from these stories to say whether the judge was doing something inappropriate with this information or not. (I also don’t have enough from these stories to say whether the information about Moroccan culture is correct or not.)


Here’s a detailed story from Spiegel Online.

I think there’s a bit of fuel for outrage in the judge’s use of the Koran to excuse something that is illegal under German law. Imagine a US judge excusing throwing rocks at an adulterer.

There’s a lot of people sounding off on this here in Germany. The judge apparently considered this one aspect of the divorce proceedings a legal technicality and did not consider how it’d be understood by the woman and the public (the judge has since been recused from the case by a judge’s panel that the woman’s lawyer appealed to.

From what I recollect of the last two days’ press reports:

  • it wasn’t a question of granting or refusing permission to file for divorce (as the first Yahoo article said), but rather whether the normal period of separation (1 yr) before the divorce became final could be waived. IOW, whether the woman could get divorced at once rather than living separated for one year then get the divorce.
  • the judge said that an injunction to not contact the wife against the husband might well have been granted, if it had been applied for.
  • but that there was no extraordinary hardship in being legally married to the asshole husband during the separation period, just ordinary hardship. The cultural argument apparently came into play in that question. (German Muslims said BTW that her interpretation of the Koran were quite naive).

So what we got IMO is a case of a figuratively tone-deaf judge who thought she’d decide on an unimportant technicality here, and a lot of people taking the occasion for posturing.

Agreed. I wasn’t sure what pissed off the OP, though. If he were Muslim, for example, he might be legitimately pissed at that sort of interpretation of the Qur’an. It is not unlike the Christian Bible verses that tells wives to submit to their husbands. Out of context, it might excuse all sorts of abuse. In context, it applies only to women who freely believe that their husbands love them “as Christ loves the Church”.

The more nuanced story indicates that no one is being punished, in Germany, for happening to be Muslim. I will note, however, (before the usual subjects show up), the following statement that appeared even in the first seriously distorted story:

Apparently the judge in question was the one who issued the restraining order, if I am reading this NYT article correctly.

Also from the same article.

I’d say that after what had happened previously this time she thought she’d go with “Plan B.” :smiley:

I’m a little surprised that this question comes up. I guess we must have slightly different values and/or ways of reading this. To me it just seems obvious for reasons mostly stated above. But since you asked twice, I’ll try to explain. The things that infuriate me include:

Powerful people abusing weaker people
Men abusing women
A Western government citing any religion as a basis for making a decision
Any government condoning, or coming close to condoning, domestic violence
A Western government or civilization surrendering to barbaric values

I read it differently. The woman was denied a fast-track divorce because she was Muslim. I don’t know the advantages or disadvantages of fast-track divorces in Germany these days, but obviously it offers her something or else she wouldn’t have asked for it. What am I missing?

What you appear to be missing in the subsequent stories (I have no criticism of the OP based on the initially posted story), is that the woman is already under the protection of several judicial restraining orders and is in no immediate danger from the husband, meaning she is being treated the way any other woman in Germany in a similar situation would be treated.

I’m not sure of the actual content of the judge’s comments, but there is no evidence (yet presented) that indicates that the woman is being singled out for lesser justice based on her religion. If she was remaining in the house with the husband and in imminent danger from his abuse, it sounds as though the judge would have granted the fast track petition. Since the situation is already over a year old, the woman is no longer living with the husband, and the husband is under order to maintain a distance, the judge decided to deny the fast track. The religion comments seem odd, but do not appear to be the direct cause of the denial of the fast track petition.

In re-reading all the linked reports and digging up a few more, it does seem that the judge’s comments (that have still never been quoted fully or in context) seemed to rely on an odd interpretation of one sura when denying the fast track. (Other reports seem to indicate that the judge–however oddly she used the Qur’an–seemed more concerned that the costs of the divorce are underwritten by the state in fast track divorces along with noting that since even a fast track divorce would only accelerate, not eliminate, the waiting period, the one year separation would be concluded in May, anyway.)

The judge, (who has been recused from the case and, apparently, removed from the bench for the time being), does seem to have acted stupidly. I’m not sure whether her actions were motivated by religious bias so much as by not wanting to grant state monies to an immigrant, however.

Sounds like we agree more than we disagree

From reading the links, I believe the judge intended to stir up controversy over the Islamic religion by using it in such a bizarre ruling. That she intended to make the religion and the culture look bad by implying the culture generally includes and the religion allows for husbands to beat their wives. now THAT would be outrageous. Luckily, it appears her plan has backfired, but unfortunately, she’ll probably get through to those wackos who only look for their own position in a story, and they’ll use it as a cite that “Islam is backwards” which is exactly the impression this biased judge is attempting to create.

Naturally, I wouldn’t want to look at Paul’s words out of context. :rolleyes:

My husband does not love me as Christ loves the Church. Can we get real here? He wouldn’t even want me to submit to him. There’s no sport in it.

Are you having fun?

In another direction:

If the man has a history of abuse and believes that he has a right to abuse his wife, then the sooner that she is no longer his wife, the better.

Emotionally it is better to get the break over with too. This man has threatened to kill her, right? Why prolong the agony for both of them and keep the wound open? They both need to be able to move on with their lives. Too many women have been murdered while waiting for the divorce to be final.

Zoe, (and to the OP, please pardon the slight hijack) I don’t know if you saw my last post to you, but I’m wondering how you are…you know, how’s the ol’ brain and everything? Very, very well, I hope.

Regards, :wink:

Then it doesn’t apply to you, does it.