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Whither Europe?

Posted by Richard on March 23, 2007

I was stunned a few days ago when I read about the judges in the German state of Hesse who imposed a bizarre Islamic restriction on Muslim girls in the public schools. Little Green Footballs stunned me yet again yesterday with the story of the German judge whose ruling in a divorce case was based on what the Koran says:

The nihilistic dead end of multiculturalism has been attained in Germany, where a female judge seemingly forgot which culture’s laws she was supposed to uphold: German judge rules Koran allows wife abuse. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

BERLIN (AFP) – A German woman judge has refused a Moroccan-born woman permission to file for divorce by interpreting the Koran as allowing husbands to beat their wives.

It seems there's been a significant uproar over this decision, and the judge has been removed:

BERLIN – Politicians and Muslim leaders denounced a German judge for citing the Koran in her rejection of a Muslim woman's request for a quick divorce on grounds she was abused by her husband.

The judge was removed from the case on Wednesday and the Frankfurt administrative court said it was considering disciplinary action.

… The latest uproar comes amid an ongoing debate in Germany about integrating its more than 3 million Muslims, most of them from Turkey. A decision last year to cancel an opera featuring the severed heads of the Prophet Muhammad and other religious figures out of security concerns caused a furor and was later retracted.

Lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats said traditional Islamic law, or Sharia, had no place in Germany.

"The legal and moral concepts of Sharia have nothing to do with German jurisprudence," Wolfgang Bosbach, a lawmaker with the Christian Democrats, told N24 television.

"One thing must be clear: In Germany, only German law applies. Period."

Ronald Pofalla, the party's general secretary, told Bild: "When the Koran is put above the German constitution, I can only say: Good night, Germany."

The mass-circulation Bild daily asked in a front-page article: "Where are we living?" The left-leaning Tageszeitung headlined its Thursday edition: "In the name of the people: Beating allowed." 

Not everyone's outraged, however. Notice how the AP reporter helps a Muslim group try to put a good spin on a very ugly aspect of their beliefs (emphasis added):

While the Koranic verse cited does say that husbands are allowed to beat their wives if they are disobedient, Germany's Institute for Islamic Questions noted that such an interpretation was no longer standard.

"Of course not all Muslims use violence against their wives," the group said in a statement.

Let me attempt to restate that for you: "Yes, the Koran says 'husbands may beat their wives if they disobey,' and we usually insist on unquestioning 100% obedience to every word in the Koran. But, umm, there's this other interpretation. Really. And besides, some Muslim women don't need to be bea… I mean, some Muslim men don't beat their wives at all. Hardly."

These incidents are just two more data points in the growing mountain of evidence that all is not well in Europe. Daniel Pipes recently considered "Europe's Stark Options" regarding its growing Muslim population and saw three possibilities:

  1. The high religiosity, high fertility, and high cultural confidence of the Muslims will win out over the Europeans' low religiosity, low fertility, and alienation from their own heritage. Europe will become Islamicized.
  2. Many Europeans (outside of the intelligentsia) are becoming resentful of radical Islam's increasing insistence that non-Muslims conform to and accommodate fundamentalist Muslim standards, and this will lead to a backlash that becomes increasingly ugly. In the words of Ralph Peters,  Muslims in Europe "will be lucky just to be deported."
  3. Europeans and Muslim immigrants could follow Rodney King's advice and "just get along." Muslim immigrants would assimilate more, or at least stop pushing for the Islamization of Europe, and would become more tolerant of and integrated into the free, democratic, pluralistic societies in which they've chosen to live.

Pipes seems to think option 3 is not very likely, and it's too soon to tell whether option 1 or 2 will prevail. I hope he's wrong. But there are certainly plenty of people in the European intelligentsia who are furthering option 1, as these German judges illustrate. And there are even more ordinary Europeans who are becoming angry and radicalized, as is clear from the reaction to such instances of dhimmitude and the growing nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment in many parts of Europe.

I have to believe that there are lots of Muslim immigrants in Europe who don't want Sharia — who emigrated at least partly to escape from the oppressive feudal strictures of their homeland. But the Saudi-funded radical Wahhabists at the mosques are turning some of their kids into jihadists. Are these people just too scared to stand up and speak out?

We're constantly reminded that most Muslims are peaceful, tolerant people. I'd like to think it's true, but in Europe as in the U.S., those peaceful, moderate Muslims are virtually invisible. So Europe's many appeasers and cowards keep submitting to the threats of the violent and intolerant Muslims, and everyone else gets angrier and angrier. It's a path to disaster, and it's those peaceful, moderate Muslims — if they exist in large numbers — who must act to stop it. For their own sakes, if not for everyone else's.

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