German Judge’s Use Of Quran Sparks Debate

A German judge has been removed from a civil case after riling the public with a ruling in which she cited a passage from the Quran that seems to tolerate spousal abuse.

The Frankfort court removed Judge Christa Datz-Winter in March from a proceeding in which she denied a woman’s request for a quick divorce from her Muslim husband on the grounds that he beat and threatened to kill her. The judge denied the woman’s motion, noting that the Quran permits husbands to use violence on their wives, reported The New York Times.

The decision grabbed headlines and drew swift reaction from the public. According to press accounts, German Muslims were distraught that Datz-Winter apparently endorsed the fundamentalist take on the Quran’s passage.

“Our prophet never struck a woman, and he is our example,” Ayyub Axel Kohler, head of a German Muslim organization, told the newspaper.

The woman’s lawyer, Barbara Becker-Rojczk, said she publicized Datz-Winter’s ruling, which was issued in January, after the court denied a request for a new judge. In her January ruling, Datz-Winter wrote that the man and woman, who moved from Morocco, are from a culture where “it is not unusual that the husband uses physical punishment against the wife.”

Datz-Winter refused to comment on her removal from the case. A spokesperson for the Frankfort court called the judge’s ruling “not justifiable, but the judge herself cannot explain it at this moment.”