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EGYPT: Nationwide rage over the death of an Egyptian in Germany

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The Egyptian funeral of Marwa El Sherbini, who was brutally killed  outside a courtroom in the German city of Dresden, turned into a mass rally Monday against Germany, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry and racism.

The 32-year-old pharmacist, dubbed the "veil martyr" by the Egyptian media, was stabbed to death Wednesday by a man who had been fined 780 euros for taunting her with racial slurs in August 2008. The assailant, known as "Axel W.," appealed the fine, and while the pregnant El Sherbini was preparing her testimony, he stabbed her 18 times in front of her husband and 3-year-old son. The husband was severely injured after unsuccessfully trying to protect his wife.

Thousands attended El Sherbini's burial, which took place in her hometown of Alexandria, just a few hours after her body arrived in Egypt on Monday morning. Mourners carried banners condemning racism and criticized both German and Egyptian authorities' reaction to the crime.

Although the Egyptian Foreign Ministry denounced the act and asked its German counterpart for an official response, Egyptians were upset at the way their government had been dealing with the matter. "The passive policy adopted by the foreign ministry will lead to similar incidents against other Egyptians and Muslims abroad," said El Sherbini's brother Tarek.

"Now we as Muslims and Arabs have a chance to show the whole world that real terrorism takes place in the West," he added. "In the West, they don’t recognize us. There is racism there. The Germans are the enemies of God."

The funeral, which was attended by a large number of Egyptian politicians and parliament members, was overwhelmed with chants such as "We need revenge," "Where is our foreign ministry?" and "Down with Germany" and "No to racism."

Egyptians were angry that the murder had received little attention among German and international media. The absence of the German ambassador at El Sherbini's funeral also sparked ire. El Sherbini moved to Germany four years ago to be with her husband, Elwi Ali Okaz, who was granted a fellowship to study  genetic engineering at the Max Planck Institute.

The incident between El Sherbini and Axel W. began in a city playground, where El Sherbini was with her son. An argument developed in which Axel W. is said to have hurled abuse at the woman, including calling her a terrorist.  El Sherbini filed an official complaint, which led to the fine.

-- Amro Hassan in Cairo

Photo: Thousands attended Marwa El Sherbini's funeral. Credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (16)

I am a foreigner living in Germany and I am really shocked by the completely wrong reaction of people to this event. The killer is not German! He is Russian. There are thousands of racially motivated attacks in Russia and racial insults are so widespread that nobody even pays any attention. Obviously that guy was very irritated that in Germany all the people receive the same treatment and he was outraged that it was even possible to be fined for such an insult! Please do not confuse it with Islamophobia!
There are no more racists in Germany than there are in the the US.

I'm sorry to say, but the comments from Rashid, Asad and like is one of the reasons even mainstream citizens in vestern europe is sceptical of arabs. You don't know what in fact happeded, and if you know you prefere prejudice.
The court where Marwa was killed is a civil court. Typically in a civil court there are no metal detectors,because the system is based on trust.
And one would guess that the guard wasn't the most well trained.
The killer was a lonely lunatic from german russian background, and has only lived in Germany in 5 years.
And if Germany is a terrible place how come that there is more than 3 millions muslims living i Germany, and tens of thousand tries to enter each year.

it seems that germans are still live in fascism decade otherwise what would it means to kill a human just for religous behavior and for scarf?????? its funny germans are stupid and freaks

How come there is no rage over the killing of Egyptian Christian Copts and burning their homes, stores and Churches in Egypt?

the last comment is the most fanatic really, that murderer entered the court house with a knife... there is no metal detectors in the court!!!!! in Egypt ( a third world country ) I pass through a metal detector when i enter the public library..... how much time does it take to stab an object 18 times?? 10 seconds at least - i think - the guards take 10 secs to move ???? are WW II survivors in veterans association, are they the security staff of the court? it seems logic to me when they shoot the husband. and what is that ultimate trust to your media they can be just tools in the hands of governments or funding capitalists especially when they are jews and not shame of declaring their loyalty to israel.... and how you judge media in islamic countries? i bet you never checked it before ,,, for your information our media is under complete control and surveillance of the governments and regimes. the regime which you call allied as long as it respond to your evil agenda in our countries no matter how brutal tyrants rules people ... in egypt for example the president rules since 1981 and he is 81 ys. old now
Dr. Marwa may God rest you soul

Lisa, your comments are ridiculous. Apparently you think Western media is "demonising" Muslims because they are actually reporting what is happening in the world? I can't see how else they are targeting this group. Mainstream Western news sources are far too politically correct to target Islam. News agencies in Muslim countries, on the other hand, report stories such as this murder in Germany and inflate them to the absurd--they make it appear that this was not a crime by one individual, but a whole nation. "Down with Germany" they yell at the funeral? Demanding the German ambassador attend? Idiotic, unbelievable, yet so common in the Muslim world.

Also, why would you assume that the German guards would aim at the husband? He was fighting with the attacker; it's clear that there was chaos, and it is not at all surprising that he got hit.

Finally--I'm almost embarrassed to note that the "media blackout" you claim exists on this story has been pierced not only by the Los Angeles Times, but also the BBC, CNN, AP, and a few dozen other Western news agencies. Sorry to burst your pro-Muslim, self-hating bubble.

Hey! The reporter is wrong. The woman was killed INSIDE the courtroom and her husband was shot by the SECURITY GUARD. No matter how hard I try to imagine how fast 18 stabs can be quick so that no security would take action, I fail. As Ms. Goldberg said in the comments, once a Nazi always a Nazi.

it's not about race
but rather mankind and his dissatisfaction
with his life...
the enemy is not a man of different color
that's just someone to blame for another
unfullfilled life....

What the hell is wrong with the press on this side of the world? Yes, you can try and convince us with frivolous freedoms and entertainment and past-times that we are democratic but the truth is we're only as democratic as the system that allows it has its interests served.

Demonising Muslims at present keeps the world's news busy while leaders of so-called Western nations rob their own and ruin the structures of their countries. Today they demonise and blame Muslims, before it was the Jews - all tricks as always.

I'm no conpsiracy theorist but this seems unbelievebaly odd, a media blackout, an information blackout, why don't we know the name of the assailiant if he was simply there on a basic public disorder charge? Was this instigated - how did it get so far in a court of law? why was her husband shot? Surely all in court already knew who he was?

How could her husband have been msitaken for the attacker if he was seated and the assailant was stabbing her 18 times at close range? He had a knife, not a gun, he was in full view. This is all wrong and unbelievably Islamophobic to ignore it!

It happened at the same time as that brave woman stood up for her beliefs in Iran and got shot by a whack job. She was hailed a hero and an icon for standing for what she believes. Yet this woman stood up in a democratic nation, got stabbed and was quietly brushed under the carpet.

Is it because it would have weakened their case against Iran? How dare they toy with lives for their own ends. Hypocrites!

We need answers to clear this up and get justice!

Marwa wa Murdered INSIDE the courtroom not outside as mentioned in the article ( Leave my post this time )

No newspaper tells what the hell were the security personal doing when that racist ran across the courtroom and stabbed the innocent woman 18 ( yes EIGHTEEN) times? Why didn't they stopped him at any time during this butchery when it will take at least 9 seconds to stab 18 times.

How in the world the security personal shot her husband twice, who was just saving his wife, but the racist murderer was unhurt in the shooting?

The security personal are equally responsible for this heinous crime.

Her husband was seriously injured when he tried to intervene and was shot by a police officer present. The murderer was unharmed. Isn't that the strangest thing?

Ofcourse it is horrible that any one dies that way or just plain gets killed. God gives us alimited life, so we can use it wisely. It is also hypocritical for any Moslem [from Egypt] Egypt to be upset, because Christians in Egypt get killed by muslims for the simplest reasons and the law and the police are on the side of the assailant-usually a muslim. My condonce to the family, but maybe the family would take my advise and tell its fellow muslims how bad and horrific that felt so they would not treat christians the same.

What do you expect from Germans?
The father of the police man who stopped the lady's husband from saving her by shoting him was prabably a Nazi who gased Jewish along with their wives and children.
Once a Nazi always a Nazi.
They can't kill German Jews any more because they have killed them all, so now they kill Muslims.

So, Not only Islamist Radicals who are brainwashed into doing terrible things afterall. Look what the western media has turned people into.

An incident this egregious really requires an apology and repudiation from the highest level of government. Germany has a growing ultra-right wing problem and needs to clearly, unequivocally condemn anything that looks like this kind of fanaticism in action.


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