March 24, 2007

Guilt Is A Mighty Lever

I am not known to have feminist leanings. However, the (THE!) German feminist, publisher of the feminist magazine Emma, Alice Schwarzer didn't shun the truth yesterday in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, at least not once one has discarded the politically correct hangups, mainly about gender, from which she is suffering. The interview was prompted by the court verdict against a 26-year old woman with two small children (as SPIEGEL ONLINE had reported on Tuesday), who was seeking an expedite divorce, something German divorce law allows under certain circumstances. Otherwise, the woman would have had to ride out the standard one-year waiting period. The police had already confirmed that the husband, a Moroccan (the wife was born in Germany to Morrocan parents), had beaten her. The husband was ordered out of the mutual dwelling, but went on terrorising and even threatened to murder her. The judge, notabene a woman, had, against everybody's expectations, denied the request because, so she argues, the husband is from Morocco and in Morocco (listen well!) the Koran allows men to beat their wives, so staying married to the wife-beater is, according to this judge, "no unreasonable cruelty within the meaning of paragraph 1565 BGB" [of the German civil law, which covers expedite divorce].
"Our Jurisdiction Is Being Undermined by Islamist Power"

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Ms. Schwarzer, a female judge* at the Frankfurt local court has denied the request of a woman for expedite divorce because the Koran allows physical violence as a disciplinary measure. A sad exception or are we watching some method here?

Alice Schwarzer: This reasoning is sadly all but an isolated case. In the past decades there have been many decisions – even in murder cases – where the perpetrator was convicted or even acquitted – in fact in cases of murder as well – in the name of "different customs" and a another "culture". Within the context of a recently growing sensitivity, honour killings come in here as well, but such an open violation of our jurisdiction by a German judge is startling all the same.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Do you see a general decay of the Grundgesetz [the German constitution] to the benefit of a religious appreciation of law?

Alice Schwarzer: Yes, and such an undermining process is not accidental. In fact, the currect legal system is being systematically undermined by Islamist powers for a long time now. Converts are involved here too and specifically.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Should the autonomy of the judge [German judges are, although part of the Beamten-hierarchy, not subject to directives by senior judges, which is considered one of the pillars of German jurisdiction] be taken as far as to a judge basing her verdict on the Koran?

Alice Schwarzer: A judge who relies on the Koran for her verdict administers the law based on Sharia and not based on the Grundgesetz. She has no place in a German courtroom.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What should be the politicians' reaction? Does the case call for a change of the current divorce law?

Alice Schwarzer: No, I think our law is sufficient. But the federal minister for justice and the ministers of justice of the states ought to be alarmed by the fact that a German judge dares to administer "justice" this way. I am under the impression for some time now that there is a false "tolerance" rampant within the judiciary. Maybe there should be courses of instruction performed to clarify that human rights are not subject to relativation and that our law applies to male and female migrants as well.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What is your advice for the Morrocan woman who is being threatened by her husband? Will we have to offer additional support for Muslim women in Germany? Maybe additional regulations as well?

Alice Schwarzer: The Germano-Moroccan needs help and protection – otherwise she would have to give up on Germany in despair. And that does not just apply to her, but to thousands of women from the Muslim culture as well, whose human rights, that goes without saying, must be protected equally to our own.

Interview: Anna Reimann
(Translation mine.)

Feminists living up their lives in dignity.

As an aside for my special American friends who have dubbed me a "self-hating German": To be honest, I am, at least in this case, quite a bit proud of that crone. Whereas American feminists are putting the Three Wise Monkeys to shame regarding the appaling brutality with which Islam is treating its women because they are too busy whingeing about the Western patriarchal cesspool that doesn't allow lesbians to live their lives in dignity they so much crave and the sex-discriminatory all-male membership of a golf club, this woman is alienating herself from her entire leftist infrastructure, if not putting her life at risk.

So back to Germany: The verdict of the German court has once again highlighted the danger cultural relativism holds for human rights and the rule of law. "Culture" has become a rewarding value worth protecting per se. Anybody who justifyies his (or her) actions with his (or her) "culture" can be sure to be judged with restraint, respect and awe.

The harm this post-colonial European trauma wrecked is hardly commensurable. What worth has a so-called civilised society that seems to have forgotten that it is their duty and theirs specifically to protect other individuals from submission under the inhuman demands of their own culture? Justice and humanity are indivisible.

Of course, this guilt-complex is being abused by those in power, the media, the politicians, whoever will profit from it. Guilt is a mighty lever! Multiculturalism as invariably portrayed as a positive, all-embracing lifestyle, which – and that is the crucial point – no reasonable person would reject. Denouncing multiculturalism has somewhat gained a sort of self-evident irrational wickedness akin to, for example, denying the Holocaust.

This is sad, dangerous and to use an, alas outmoded, epithet: Evil. With a capital "E".

The first aphorism I put up in the header of my blog was the (as far as I know) anonymous quote "Culture is to make a nice drinking bowl from one's enemy's skull -- Civilisation is to go to prison for that."

It is still there and it still says all that is to say about it.

* Translator's note: Throughout the interview, the term "Richterin" (female judge) as opposed to the generic term "Richter" is used. I have used the qualification "female" where it deemed important to me within the given context if the gender wasn't clear because of the personal pronoun anyway, otherwise I have omitted it. My apologies should I have violated Ms. Schwarzer's feminist sensitivities.