Posted by: bridget | 29 March 2007

Cultural Tolerance Is Anti-Woman

A German judge refused to grant a divorce to a Muslim woman who claimed “unreasonable hardship” in her marriage, due to the fact that her husband regularly abused her. Several pasages in the Koran allow a husband to beat his wife if she is in violation of Islamic law or offends their prophet. Judge Datz-Winter claimed that the wife’s circumstances were not an unusual hardship: under the laws governing her marriage, such abuse is explicitly permitted.

Of course, this is a horrible ruling, but can we really blame Judge Datz-Winter for her decision? If we are to state that, in the name of cultural sensitivity, we not demand assimiliation to our norms, can we really be shocked when this happens? Fundamental Islamic law is horrible for women. Why bother with cultural sensitivity to it? Why to parse out acceptable behaviour for a Muslim immigrant that would be unacceptable for a native Westerner, and behaviour that we will not tolerate despite cultural norms? Why not declare that Islamic norms are, de facto, anti-woman, realise that “moral relativism” is not moral but rather suicidal, and impose our ethnocentric Western ideals so that we can condemn and end domestic violence, rape, and murder?

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Responses

  1. Don’t you love it when culture gets a pass over law.

    How long will it be till genital mutilations are allowed in this country, and probably paid for by tax dollars?

  2. Great point. I suspect that genital mutilations (which are already occurring), will happen with increasing frequency. I can only hope that the Nanny State will at least be useful and stop that horror, but it would probably be “culturally insensitive.” (We ignore the cultural, physical, or sexual sensibilities of the young woman’s body, however.)


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