Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sharia Law in Germany

According to one Brit, Sharia Law in Britain is only for civil matters and only if all parties agree. Further, that there are no conflicts between Sharia Law and British Law.  The former is subsumed under the latter.  That is not what I read elsewhere, but since I live in California and not under or near Sharia Law I won’t argue . . . too much. Let us turn instead to Germany: This is another article by Soeren Kern, this one entitled “Islamic Sharia Law Proliferates in Germany.”

[The Brit, by the way, referred to Kern earlier as “she” so she may have him mixed up with someone else. His web site describes his bio. Here is a bit of it: “Soeren Kern is the Senior Analyst for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. One of the oldest and most influential foreign policy think tanks in Spain, the Strategic Studies Group is closely tied to Spain’s center-right Partido Popular/Popular Party and former Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar.

“A political scientist by training, Soeren specializes in European politics as well as US and European defense- and security-related issues. He is also an essayist on European anti-Americanism and the roles of America and Europe in the world.

“Soeren writes a weekly column about European politics for the Hudson Institute in New York. He also writes the Europa! Europa? column for Pajamas Media, a conservative ‘New Media’ outlet based in Los Angeles.

“At the same time, Soeren is a contributing analyst for Jane’s Information Group on Basque and Islamist terrorism in Spain. He writes for Jane’s Intelligence Review, Jane’s Intelligence Weekly and Jane’s Terrorism and Security Monitor. He also advises American and European companies on transatlantic issues and geopolitical risk.

“Soeren is a regular commentator about European politics and transatlantic relations for newspapers and radio programs in Spain, Europe and the United States. He teaches international relations at the Universidad Antonio de Nebrija, a private university in Madrid.”]

Here is what Kern has to say about the advance of Sharia Law in Germany:

“The spread of Islamic Sharia law in Germany is far more advanced than previously thought, and German authorities are "powerless" to do anything about it, according to a new book about the Muslim shadow justice system in Germany.

“The 236-page book titled "Judges Without Law: Islamic Parallel Justice Endangers Our Constitutional State," which was authored by Joachim Wagner, a German legal expert and former investigative journalist for ARD German public television, says Islamic Sharia courts are now operating in all of Germany's big cities.

“This "parallel justice system" is undermining the rule of law in Germany, Wagner says, because Muslim arbiters-cum-imams are settling criminal cases out of court without the involvement of German prosecutors or lawyers before law enforcement can bring the cases to a German court.

“Settlements reached by the Muslim mediators often mean perpetrators are able to avoid long prison sentences, while victims receive large sums in compensation or have their debts cancelled, in line with Sharia law, according to Wagner. In return, they are required to make sure their testimony in court does not lead to a conviction.

“German police do investigate cases involving serious crimes. But parallel to that, special Muslim arbitrators, also known as "peace judges," are commissioned by the families concerned to mediate and reach an out-of-court settlement.

“In an interview with the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Wagner said political correctness in Germany is contributing to the problem: "I've studied 16 recent crime cases here with Muslim citizens involved. In almost 90% of all cases where Muslim arbitrators were commissioned, the perpetrators were acquitted by German courts or the cases were dropped altogether by the prosecution for lack of evidence. It's an alarming finding, and it throws a bad light on our courts."

“In fact, German judges often refer and/or defer to Sharia law. For example, the Federal Social Court in Kassel recently 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.”

How close is Germany’s response to Sharia Law to the reports we’ve heard about Britain. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says something like the aforementioned Brit when she says “Now we obviously have Muslims in Germany. But it is important in regard to Islam that the values represented by Islam must correspond with our constitution. What applies here is the constitution, not Sharia law.”

Kern’s responds to Merkel by saying, “But the proliferation of Sharia law in Germany suggests Merkel is mistaken. Sharia law now does apply in Germany.”

COMMENT: I am not in a position to check out the actual advance of Sharia Law in Britain and in Germany, what I am in a position to assert (based upon a study of Islamism and Islamic ideology) is that Sharia Law is not consistent with Western values. To believe that it is strikes me as naïve wishful thinking. Therefore, I expect Sharia Law to be asserted at the expense of National Law in Britain, Germany, and elsewhere.

I have heard it asserted that I am taking a literalistic view of Islamic history and Islamism and that Islamism has mellowed such that it is now compatible with Western Law. Perhaps. I doubt it, but perhaps. We shall see.

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