It’s okay to beat your wife if you’re Moroccan

From the Spiegel, a German judge has effectively ruled that it was okay for a man to repeatedly beat his wife and threaten her with death. Why? Becasue they were both Muslims of Moroccan descent. As such, the case must be seen in the context of their religious and cultural background. The judge even quoted a passage from the Koran in defense of the husband’s actions. Last year Scott Aaronson and Dave Bacon coined a word to describe this:

circumpolitical: So far to one end of the political spectrum that one is actually on the other end.

“Professor Zimmerman mounted a circumpolitical defense of hereditary dictatorship, female genital mutilation, and the dragging of murdered homosexuals through the streets, arguing that we have no right to condemn these indigenous practices of non-Western peoples.”

How on Earth can a judge morally justify this position? If you’re an immigrant living in Germany, you live by German law. You can’t bring your own laws with you. The same applies to every other country. When Shapelle Corby got busted for drug smuggling in Bali, could she use the defense that in her country it was socially acceptable to smoke pot? Some people need their heads screwed on. It appears that this circumpolitical judge is one of them.

Update: The judge in question has now been removed from the case following a nationwide outcry in Germany.

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