Jul 6, 2009

Racism and Xenophobia in Europe

A Veiled Egyptian Woman is Killed in a German Court by Fanatic

A 32-year old Egyptian pharmacist was stabbed to death inside a German Court on July 1st, 2009, by a 28-year old German man of Russian origins. The killing raises questions and fears about the rising tide of ant-Muslim feelings in Europe.

Dr. Marwa Sherbini was a star pupil at her Alexandria School, El Nasr Girls’ College (EGC), one of the oldest and most prestigious educational establishments for girls in Alexandria. Her personality and academic achievements led to her selection as Head Girl of the school before she joined the Faculty of Pharmacy at Alexandria University, graduating in 2000 with flying colors. After she got married to Elwy Okaz, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute, she moved with him to Germany.

Marwa Takes her Son to Play in the Park

In a Dresden park, Marwa took her 3-year old son Mostapha to play. A German man, probably piqued by her headscarf, insulted her and called her a terrorist. She filed a case against him in German courts. When she won the case and the court fined him 750 Euros for having abused her, he appealed against the verdict.

Marwa Stands in Dresden Court to Give Evidence

As Marwa stood in court to give evidence, the man took out a knife and stabbed her 18 times. Present were her son and her husband, who ran to rescue her. But the assailant stabbed him 3 times. A German security officer in court shot the husband in the leg probably mistaking him for the assailant. The husband who lapsed into a coma was taken to hospital suffering from serious injuries to the stomach and liver.

Recalling Geert Wilders’s Anti-Islam Film

The killing of the Muslim woman raises many questions regarding inter-racial relationships and co-existence in Europe. It brings to mind the right-wing short film Fitna (2008) made by the Dutch politician Geert Wilders in which he launched a scathing attack against Islam, portraying it as a religion of violence that poses a serious threat to European life and values . The film displays a verse from the Quran beside images of the twin tower attack of 9/11. He ends his film with statistics indicating that Muslims’ rate of “breeding” will change the demographic structure of Europe in future. This is designed to instil fear in the hearts of Europeans regarding the growth of Muslim population in Europe. The message of hate seems to have cone to roost in this latest act of xenophobic aggression and it looks likely that violence against Muslims will continue.

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