by Soeren Kern
Sharia Courts in Germany
A growing number of Muslims in Germany are consciously bypassing German courts altogether and instead are adjudicating their disputes in informal Sharia courts, which are proliferating across the country. According to one estimate, some 500 Sharia judges are now regulating civil disputes between Muslims in Germany — a development that points to the establishment of a parallel Islamic justice system in the country.
A major reason for the growth in Sharia courts is that Germany does not recognize polygamy or marriages involving minors.
The German Interior Ministry, responding to a Freedom of Information Act request, recently revealed that 1,475 married children are known to be living in Germany as of July 31, 2016 — including 361 children who are under the age of 14. The true number of child marriages in Germany is believed to be much higher than the official statistics suggest, because many are being concealed.
Polygamy, although illegal under German law, is commonplace among Muslims in all major German cities. In Berlin, for example, it is estimated that fully one-third of the Muslim men living in the Neukölln district of the city have two or more wives.
According to an exposé broadcast by RTL, one of Germany’s leading media companies, Muslim men residing in Germany routinely take advantage of the social welfare system by bringing two, three or four women from across the Muslim world to Germany, and then marrying them in the presence of a Muslim cleric. Once in Germany, the women request social welfare benefits, including the cost of a separate home for themselves and for their children, on the claim of being a “single parent with children.”
Although the welfare fraud committed by Muslim immigrants is an “open secret” costing German taxpayers millions of euros each year, government agencies are reluctant to take action due to political correctness, according to RTL.
“No one who comes here has the right to put his cultural values or religious beliefs above our law. Everyone must abide by the law, no matter whether they have grown up here or have only just arrived.”
In practice, however, German leaders have tolerated a parallel Islamic justice system, one which allows Muslims to take the law into their own hands, often with tragic consequences.
On November 20, 2016, for example, a 38-year-old German-Kurdish man in Lower Saxony tied one end of a rope to the back of his car and the other end around the neck of his ex-wife. He then dragged the woman through the streets of Hameln. The woman, who survived, remains in critical condition.
The newsmagazine, Focus, reported that the man was a “strictly religious Muslim who married and divorced the woman according to Sharia law.” It added: “Under German law, however, the two were not married.” Bild reported that the man was married “once under German law and four times under Sharia law.”
The crime, which has drawn renewed attention to the problem of Sharia justice in Germany, has alarmed some members of the political and media establishment.
Wolfgang Bosbach, of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said: “Even if some people refuse to admit it, a parallel justice system has established itself in Germany. This act shows a clear rejection of our values and legal order.”
On November 23, Bild, the largest-circulation newspaper in Germany, warned that the country was “capitulating to Islamic law.” In a special “Sharia Report” it stated:
“The 2013 coalition agreement between the CDU and the Social Democrats promised: ‘We want to strengthen the state’s legal monopoly. We will not tolerate illegal parallel justice.’ But nothing has happened.”
In a commentary, Franz Solms-Laubach, Bild’s parliamentary correspondent, wrote:
“Even if we still refuse to believe it: Parts of Germany are ruled by Islamic law! Polygamy, child marriages, Sharia judges — for far too long the German rule of law has not been enforced. Many politicians dreamed of multiculturalism….
“This is not a question of folklore or foreign customs and traditions. It is a question of law and order.
“If the rule of law fails to establish its authority and demand respect for itself, then it can immediately declare its bankruptcy.”
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