Merkel said there would only be one law in Germany, but Hilmar KrÃ¼ger says that that isn’t even the case now, and that that’s good. He thus joins Rowan Williams in not understanding how having one law for all, rather than different sets of laws for different classes, fosters harmony and peace in society — by removing a fundamental basis upon which one group may come to resent another. “Sharia law being used in Germany in Muslims’ domestic disputes,” from The Local, October 9 (thanks to Rosanne):
A leading law professor has contradicted Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement that Sharia law was not practiced in Germany, saying a variety of Sharia-based rulings were being made all the time.
“We have been practising Islamic law for years, and that is a good thing,” Hilmar KrÃ¼ger, professor for foreign private law at Cologne University, told Der Spiegel magazine.
“We have been chopping off hands for years, and that is a good thing.” “We have been stoning adulterers for years, and that is a good thing.” “We have been collecting jizya from the dhimmis for years, and that is a good thing.” No no no, Hilmar KrÃ¼ger would doubtless respond: that is not the kind of Islamic law that has been practiced in Germany for years, and not the kind he thinks is a good thing. The difficulty with that is that there is no distinction within Sharia itself between elements of it that are palatable to Westerners and compatible with Western law and elements that aren’t. It is also a system of laws that asserts its authority over everyone, not just Muslims. As such, now that elements of it have been introduced, if KrÃ¼ger is correct, it is essentially inevitable that there will be increasing calls to allow for the practice of the rest.
Family and inheritance rulings were often made according to Sharia law, he said, listing a range of examples.
Women who are in polygamous marriages legal in their countries of origin can make claims of their husbands in Germany regardless of the fact that their marriages would not be lawful here. They can claim maintenance from their husbands and a share of an eventual inheritance, said KrÃ¼ger.
German judges often refer to Sharia, as the Federal Social Court in Kassel did a few years ago when it supported the claim of a second wife for a share of her dead husband’s pension payments, which his first wife wanted to keep all to herself. The judge ruled they should share the pension.
In another case, the Administrative Appeals Court in Koblenz granted the second wife of an Iraqi living in Germany, the right to stay in the country. She had already been married to him and living in Germany for five years, after which the court said it would not be fair to send her to Iraq alone.
A judge in Cologne ruled that an Iranian man should repay his wife’s dowry of 600 gold coins to her after their divorce – referring to the Sharia which is followed in Iran.
Erlangen lawyer and Islam scholar Mathias Rohe told the magazine that the use of laws from various countries was an expression of globalisation. “We use Islamic law just as we use French law,” he said….
Rohe might one day find to his unpleasant surprise that Islamic law and French law are not exactly equivalent in the demands they make on those who would consider themselves outside the purview of those laws.