In Germany, a parallel Islamic court system on the basis of Sharia law has arisen in which women enjoy fewer rights in matters of child custody, marital arbitration and protection from violence.

For years, Islamic mediators have been stepping in to solve family disputes and marital problems among Muslims in Germany. A new book takes a closer look at how their reliance on elements of Sharia law, instead of German law, affects Muslim women.

The Muslim shadow judges are mainly protecting the patriarchal structures of a culture whose proponents are not truly interested in becoming integrated in Germany. Most arbitrators tolerate restrictions of the basic rights of women, and they urge women to accept these constraints.