Merkez Mosque in Duisburg Marxloh © Roland Weihrauch
Among the refugees coming to Germany are many Muslims. The impact of Islam on law, society and administration was the subject of a conference in Ludwigsburg.
Refugees and migration – the buzzwords dominate the news. Many immigrants are Muslims. According to estimates, just under five million of them lived in the Federal Republic at the end of 2016. A conference that ended on Friday dealt with the effects on law, society and administration.
Organizers were the Ludwigsburg University of Public Administration and Finance together with the Center for Islamic Theology of the University of Tubingen.
Child marriages and polygamy in Germany
The focus was on legal ies, resulting conflicts and possible solutions. The Ludwigsburg civil lawyer Christian F. Majer illuminated Islamic family law and thus the hotly debated ies of child marriages and polygamy. Both, however, are not peculiarities of Islamic law. Underage marriage is not recognized in Germany, but the consequences are not considered, criticized the scientist.
He is concerned with the "lived marriage", which is particularly relevant in the case of maintenance. "Why should a 15-year-old be in a worse position than a 16-year-old?" If a woman has children early, she can not provide for their maintenance. According to the current legal situation, the age of marriage in Germany is 18 and, with an exemption, 16. For a foreign marriage the respective homeland right is valid.
On polygamy, Majer said it was a violation of the general principle of equality. There is no entitlement to family reunification for second wives if the first wife already lives in Germany. In general, Majer criticized that family law laws were being passed without thinking through the consequences.
Burqa ban is "symbolic politics
In view of the low number of cases, Bremen lawyer Kirsten Wiese called for a relaxed approach to the ie of face veils.
Efforts to ban the nikab or burqa she called "symbolic politics". Nothing can be achieved with bans on these items of clothing, which are "disadvantageous" to women, he said. In the interest of women, she demanded more criticism of patriarchal structures and of the male-dominated Islamic associations.
Islamic law does not fit the GG
For Bayreuth criminal law expert Christoph Zehetgruber, Islamic criminal law is incompatible with the free democratic basic order. Finally, every criminal law norm must be measured against fundamental rights. For example, corporal punishment would have a character that degrades human dignity and represents an inadmissible encroachment on fundamental rights.
However, he said, everyone should be punished according to individual guilt. Behavior influenced by foreign norms, i.e. personal backgrounds, are to be examined within the framework of the principle of guilt, he said. However, this only applies to cases that do not constitute a core injustice, Zehetgruber said. These included crimes that would be prosecuted in all countries of the world, such as physical violence, homicide and sexual offenses.
"Problem-oriented approach" called for
Mathias Rohe, a private law expert from Erlangen, spoke of conflicts when there is parallel justice. Problems are caused, for example, by the dissolution of exclusively religious marriages, which do not constitute a marriage for German family courts. It applies to look soberly, around which well-being it concerns and in which the protection interests consist. He called for a "problem-oriented approach".
Rohe cited the lack of documents for a civil marriage and the lack of recognition of domestic civil marriages abroad as reasons for parallel justice. Other reasons, he said, were a lack of information, a culture of shame, and a distrust of the state, especially in youth welfare offices. He urged greater promotion of state structures and the "attractive aid system" in Germany among migrants.
Discourse still necessary
For the future, Rohe believes problems with traumatized refugees are possible. Their role models had been confused with the arrival in Germany. Men complained about the loss of their role as breadwinners, women experienced their freedom. "There are massive problems of violence against women seeking divorce," the lawyer said.
Majer believes more debate about Islam is necessary: If the discourse is not conducted, right-wing populists would be strengthened.