Some Europeans Seeing the Quran as Controlling Precedent for Muslims Living in Europe?
In the opinion of Judge Christa Datz-Winter, the unnamed woman is not entitled to an immediate divorce under German law because the couple come from a "Moroccan cultural environment, in which it is not uncommon for a man to exert a right of corporal punishment over his wife." When the woman's lawyer objects, the judge cites a passage in the Quran stating that "men are in charge of women." The judge adds that the woman, who is German-born, should have known what she had coming "when she married the Moroccan-born" man.
At this point, the woman's lawyer goes public, and the case becomes a sensation in Germany. "Where Are We Living?" runs the headline of Bild, a mass-circulation tabloid. Politicians also take note: "When the Quran is put above the German Constitution, I can only say: 'Goodnight, Germany,'" complains Ronald Pofalla, general secretary of the conservative CDU party.
The judge has since been removed from the case. For the nameless plaintiff, all the publicity will probably secure her divorce, and her freedom. Other Muslim women in similar positions have not been as lucky: Agence-France Press reports that when 23-year-old Samira Bari, of Nimes, France, sought a divorce from husband Mohammed in July 2003, he gouged out her eyes. She is now blind. The case is in court.