An appeals court in northwestern Germany has decided a contentious divorce case based on Islamic Sharia law.
The ruling is the latest in a growing number of court cases in Germany in which judges refer or defer to Islamic law because either the plaintiffs or the defendants are Muslim.
Critics say the cases — especially those in which German law has taken a back seat to Sharia law — reflect a dangerous encroachment of Islamic law into the German legal system.
In the latest case, the Appeals Court [Oberlandesgericht] in Hamm, a city in German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, ruled on June 2 that whoever marries according to Islamic law in a Muslim country and later seeks a divorce in Germany must abide by the original terms set forth by Sharia law.
The case involved a 23-year-old Iranian woman who married a 31-year-old Iranian man in Iran according Sharia law in 2009. The couple later immigrated to the German city of Essen, gave birth to a daughter but then separated in 2011. A lower court in Essen granted the woman a divorce in November 2012 and the husband appealed the decision.
The appeals court in Hamm sided with the woman because, according to the German judge, the couple agreed to abide by the principles of Sharia law at the time they were married and thus the case should be decided according to Islamic law, regardless of whether the couple was now living in Germany.
The court ruled that the woman was legally entitled to talaq, an Islamic means of obtaining a divorce by reciting the phrase “I divorce you” three times. The court also said the husband had violated the original terms of the Islamic marriage agreement by failing to provide financial support for his wife for a period of six months.
The ruling has opened another round in a long-running debate about the role of Islam in German jurisprudence.
An IT contractor claims an off-the-cuff remark about a bacon sandwich cost him a £1,000-a-week job.
Clive Hunt, 58, says he was offered an eight-month NHS contract after attending an interview set up by recruitment firm Reed.
But he says he lost out on the job after he told a recruitment consultant he would ‘get the bacon sarnies in’.
Mr Hunt, from Heywood, Greater Manchester, said he wasn’t aware he had offended Sharika Sacranie, 29, during a meeting at the firm’s city centre office until he received a phone call from a senior manager.
Mr Hunt said: ‘After we shook hands she said that she would come over to meet me on site with the other contractors and take us for breakfast.
‘My parting words to her were “I will buy the bacon sandwiches”.
‘Later, as I was driving home, Ms Sacranie’s manager called me and wanted to know about the racist remark I had made.
‘I said I had not made one and he said I had said that I would get her a bacon sandwich. But I only made the remark because she referred to breakfast.
‘The woman was of Asian appearance. I am not a racist, never have been. I wasn’t brought up that way.
‘Bacon sandwiches are often eaten at breakfast. I didn’t think for a minute this would have caused offence otherwise I wouldn’t have said it.’
Mr Hunt said he was due to take up the NHS role last Monday.
‘I have lost a contract because of an unassuming remark about a bacon sarnie,’ he said.
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“A group of Asian youths were outside the barracks and were abusing the cadets as they came out.” “Asian” is British media code for “Muslim.” This Muslim gang despises the air cadets because they reject all non-Muslim authority and believe that the British are fighting against Islam in Afghanistan.
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