Muslim Arbiters Undermining German Law?
By Austin Cline, About.com Guide September 12, 2011
More and more in Germany, Muslims who commit serious crimes against other Muslims are able to avoid legal punishment by submitting to religious arbitration. These proceedings do not have to respect anyone's rights and do not have to abide by any independent legal standards -- but the decisions are treated as binding by those involved. This means that the police and courts usually can't successfully prosecute the criminals later on.
"When a serious crime is committed, German police step in to investigate what's happened," [German law expert and former public TV investigative journalist Joachim Wagner] said. "But parallel to that, special Muslim arbitrators, or so called peace judges, are commissioned by the families concerned to mediate and reach an out-of-court settlement. We're talking about a tradition that's more than a thousand years old in Muslim societies."
Wagner called the phenomenon "very common in Muslim neighborhoods in Germany." ..."I've studied 16 recent crime cases here with Muslim citizens involved," he said. "In almost 90 percent 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."
Hassan Allouche, a Lebanese peace judge in Berlin, said such parallel justice systems can be found in almost all of Germany's big cities, and that Muslim families are happy to use its services. "These families have their own set of Shariah-based laws," he said. "And it doesn't even come into their minds to follow the principles of the German legal system."
Source: Deutsche Welle