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Muslim group lauds Wulff's remarks on Islam

The Local · 4 Oct 2010, 12:14

Published: 04 Oct 2010 12:14 GMT+02:00

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The remarks, in a landmark speech marking twenty years since reunification, "was a sign that Muslims are not second-class citizens," Aiman Mazyek, head of the central council of Muslims in Germany, told the popular daily Bild.

"Wulff made clear that different ways of life and diversity are welcome. I think that this speech will send a jolt through the Muslim community, which numbers around four million in Germany," he added.

In his first major speech on Sunday since taking office in July, Wulff extended the hand of friendship to Muslims, saying the challenge of integrating them into society was comparable to reunifying the country after the Cold War.

"Christianity is of course part of Germany. Judaism is of course part of Germany. This is our Judeo-Christian history ... But now Islam is also part of Germany," he added. "When German Muslims write to me to say 'you are our president', I reply with all my heart 'yes, of course I am your president'."

The integration of Muslims has rarely been out of the headlines since August when Thilo Sarrazin, a member of Germany's central bank at the time, sparked outrage by saying the country was being made "more stupid" by poorly educated and unproductive Muslim immigrants.

Sarrazin has since resigned but his book on the subject, "Deutschland schafft sich ab" (Germany abolishes itself) has flown off the shelves.

Story continues below…

A recent poll showed that 55 percent of Germans thought Muslims cost considerably more socially and financially than they produce economically.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:52 October 4, 2010 by Kayak
Is there a "The Local" broadsheet version or only this tabloid one?
14:39 October 4, 2010 by freechoice
i mean if you want docile Muslims in Germany to fight in Afghanistan, aren't you re-iterating the views that Muslims are violent people?
15:34 October 4, 2010 by raandy
Come on...Look at the faces of those lovely children,,it should warm your cold hearts...
22:30 October 4, 2010 by wxman
The problem, MrNosey, is two-fold. A great percentage of Muslims support terrorism, and the others fear retribution. Don't count on too much support for the West from anyone in Islam. Fortunately for Germany, unlike the rest of us, this dual psychosis is understood by older Germans.
22:59 October 4, 2010 by OkieinBerlin
@ wxman, just wondering, since you're going to slander millions, if you can you provide a concrete figure that's a little better than "a great percentage"; and if you can inform us a bit more precisely about how many of these "the others" there are? And maybe you can fill us in on your background in psychology -- I'd really like to take your arguments a bit more seriously.
23:54 October 4, 2010 by vb74
@ okieinberlin

Implying that wxman's opinion can only be taken seriously if he has a degree is ridiculous. And we all know, that is those of us who are not in some kind of liberal induced denial, that there are alot of muslims who support terrorism and sharia. We also know that alot of them are scared to speak up so demanding exact figures is just a plain stupid counter point.
00:16 October 5, 2010 by wxman
@OkieinBerlin, to be certain, I am speaking anecdotally. However, it's been obvious that the silent Muslim majority has been just that, and the remainder are actively taking action against the infidel West. Remember the people in the streets as the news of 9/11 were passed around the world? There was much yu-yulating in the streets of the Middle East expressing joy over the carnage. If you'll recall, plenty of "Good Germans" remained silent 70 years ago as well, and the results were the same. If one isn't willing to stand up against the problem, they are then certainly part of it.
01:25 October 5, 2010 by kreese
I'm afraid wxman is right. There are many non-violent muslims that would welcome sharia law. Look at what is happening in the UK and here in America.
02:55 October 5, 2010 by Prufrock2010
In what American jurisdiction is Sharia law recognized? As an American attorney, I'd like to know.
03:54 October 5, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman

Apparently in the lower court in New Jersey earlier this year. Appeals court reversed. See (especially section III 2nd last paragraph):

08:35 October 5, 2010 by OkieinBerlin
@vb74, no one is insisting, or implying, anything about college degrees. But I do expect someone who is so willing to slander millions -- and who uses professional jargon to do so -- to offer up something more than prejudice and unsubstantiated assertions. It's really pretty simple -- a few facts to support one's position -- that's all I'm asking. And remember, opinions put forth on crackpot websites do not qualify as facts.
12:05 October 5, 2010 by michael4096

facts? good luck! I've been asking for facts for months - none yet

re Sharia

In most of europe, almost any person or organization is allowed to act as arbitrator in civil cases as long as both disputing parties agree that the decision of the arbitrator will be accepted whatever the outcome. The objective is to keep relatively trivial matters out of the expensive legal system. In germany, many psychologists provide this service on a professional basis. This is the scheme in which sharia works in europe -purely a personal agreement between disputing parties to abide by decisions from a third party they both trust in cases like divorce or minor business contract issues.

Sharia must work within the legal framework of the land and it is only applicable when all parties agree to it. Nothing spooky.
12:30 October 5, 2010 by veritas_69
I think people are mistaking binding arbitration, which can be legally binding and enforceable in the secular court system, with Sharia Law being integrated into secular law as we've seen in Great Britain.

I have no issues with binding arbitration, but I do have a big issue with Sharia law being used as a basis for decisions in the secular system. Sharia law should not influence secular law, nor does it trump secular law. Unfortunately, it would seem that Muslims don't see it that way.
12:59 October 5, 2010 by michael4096

I wasn't aware of sharia trumping secular law in the uk. Where has it happened?
20:09 October 5, 2010 by Prufrock2010
DavidtheNorseman --

Thank you for citing to the New Jersey case, S.D. v. M.J.R. I have read it carefully and with interest.

The holding in this case does not in any way support the application of Sharia law in New Jersey or anywhere in the United States. In fact, Sharia law has nothing to do with the appellate court's ruling, which is confined to the issues of the trial court's refusal to grant a permanent restraining order and the trial court's finding that the defendant lacked the requisite intent to commit the crime of sexual assault based upon his religious beliefs. The appellate court, in reversing the trial court, specifically rejected the trial court's erroneous findings. The issue of the application of Sharia law to the facts of the case was barely discussed and unequivocally rejected, citing U.S. Supreme Court precedent dating back to 1878, wherein the Supreme Court held that polygamy by Mormons was not constitutionally protected. Reynolds v. US, 98 U.S. 145. The Reynolds court stated: "Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious beliefs and opinions, they may with practices."

Nothing in the New Jersey case even suggests that Sharia law is given any weight in American courts. The trial court in that case erroneously applied an improper legal standard in finding that the abusive defendant lacked requisite criminal intent based upon his religious beliefs. The appellate court soundly rejected that finding.

American law is still subject to the United States Constitution, to which Sharia law poses no threat. The New Jersey case reaffirms that fact.
00:01 October 6, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman

Agreed that the appellate court squashed the lower court's ruling. What I found evidence of the consideration of Sharia in America was that they had to. As you say, the appellate court rejected the lower court's finding of lack of intent based on religious beliefs.

That, however the lower court had ruled in favour of Sharia-directed behaviour being acceptable as a defense was interesting.

I listed the link to the appeals court decision because it captured the whole picture.

@michael4096 article is 2 year old but I think sums up where some things are at and the concerns many folks have, from the Telegraph:

01:51 October 6, 2010 by Prufrock2010

All I can tell you is that you have misread the ruling. What a trial court does, particularly in family law, is irrelevant. Family law is not based on statute, per se, but on equity. A family court judge has great latitude to make decisions that are not based on law. In this particular case, because the decision was so far outside the constitutional and statutory framework of the law, the judge was reversed for abuse of discretion. His ruling was not supported by any precedent, as the appellate court made clear. His ruling would have been equally erroneous had he attempted to base it on the beliefs of Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses or Christian Scientists. Having practiced for many years, I have seen untold examples of judges permitting impermissible affirmative defenses and rendering absurd rulings, only to be overturned on appeal. The law of the land in the US is not determined at the lower court level, which is precisely why no one has to fear Sharia law as a threat to American jurisprudence. This particular judge was simply lazy and incompetent. His ruling means absolutely nothing except that he didn't know the law.
13:27 October 6, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman

Thanks for the analysis! I was unaware of the discretionary nature of US family lower courts. Since the Prop. 8 suit (for example) was filed in a lower court (and appealed) I had assumed that in the US system one could start the process of challenging the law (or at least it's interpretation) at the 1st level.
13:56 October 6, 2010 by Prufrock2010
David --

The Prop 8 suit is a different animal. Because it poses a federal question challenging the constitutionality of the Proposition under the federal (rather than California) Constitution, it had to be filed in U.S. District Court. The American federal court system has three tiers -- District Court, Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court. A U.S. District Court judge can rule, as in the case of Prop 8, that the law is unconstitutional. It is then up to the respondent State to decide whether to appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals (in this case the 9th Circuit). The State of California, through its Governor and Attorney General, decided not to appeal because they also believe that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. The special interest group that financed Prop 8 is appealing, but there is a legal question as to whether they have standing to appeal. This will be ruled on soon.

State courts are quite different, and lower courts have different nomenclature from state to state. Family Law courts are within the Superior Court system in California (the lowest rung). In some states they're called Chancery courts. Family Law courts cannot decide a constitutional issue, but they are necessarily bound by constitutional interpretations in reaching their rulings, even though they are given a great deal of discretion in their role as fact-finders. Their rulings can only be overturned for abuse of discretion (which is almost impossible) or if they are patently at odds with established constitutional precedent.

I once argued a constitutional principle in a Family Law court having to do with child support payments that were violative of my client's 5th and 14th Amendment equal protection rights. It was a rather arcane argument, although valid. The judge was impressed by the theory I presented, then said to me, "I think you have a sound argument, counselor, and you may make some law with it. But you're not going to do it in my courtroom." My only remedy then was to appeal, but the costs outweighed the potential benefit.

Don't worry. Sharia law is not coming to a courtroom in the US, now or ever.
14:30 October 6, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman

Thank you again for the clear and concise explanation!
16:14 October 6, 2010 by Prufrock2010
You're very welcome.
08:58 October 7, 2010 by JohnPaul44
Hi, Prufrock

"American law is still subject to the United States Constitution,"

I didn't go to law school, but I learned in grade school that the 2nd Amendment was part of the US Constitution. My only possible conclusion now is that many places formerly thought to be in the US have seceded from the Union.
10:27 October 7, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Then you would be mistaken.
08:22 October 8, 2010 by delvek
@ prufrock, good analysis

Two thoughts from the article:

1. Why are they praising an infidel?

2. Will they now join the good fight of pushing back the radicals in Afghanistan?
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