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Sherbini’s death: Firm stand needed

Sherbini’s death: Firm stand needed

Marwa Al Sherbini's brutal killing has "nasty racist undertones," according to one Arab News journalist.

July 15, 2009 11:47 by

Racism forced many German newspapers to keep quiet about the crime that took place in a courtroom in front of a judge and other officials. Der Spiegel, a German news magazine, asked why the murder of a woman in hijab was sidelined for a week? But the German prosecutors took an extremely different stand when they ordered a media blackout on the incident.

The German magazine Focus published a report saying that the youth killed the woman after careful planning. In other words, his attack was not a hasty reaction.

If the public prosecution had wished to deal with the incident with fairness and objectivity, it would not have banned publication of reports or comments about the crime. Usually no reports on murders are made until judicial authorities have moved against the accused. And surely, no one – except for police or official guards – should be allowed to carry a weapon into a courtroom.

Egyptians organized big street rallies to protest the crime. Peter Heine, professor of Islamic sciences at Humboldt University in Berlin, justified the Egyptian protests for three reasons; first Marwa was wearing hijab; second the police officer fired on her husband in the courtroom; and third the lukewarm response of the German government toward the incident, according to a report carried by the German newspaper Bild.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy may use the incident to support his call for a ban on niqab, which is another form of hijab, as women’s Islamic dress could trigger racist feelings and encourage people to commit crimes against Muslims, cause problems for authorities and create tension in relations between Western countries and the Muslim world. The German official and media response favored Sarkozy’s stand.

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  1. Rima on July 15, 2009 8:46 pm

    If this scenario was the opposite and Al Sherbini was German been insulted in Egypt or Saudi for their personal believes or dressing it would be an extremely different reaction as Muslim countries governors have sold their people ages ago.
    While in the same time they are motivating their people to surround themselves with religions and religious behavior, and obviously they are not responsible on their own actions.
    Even the Egyption government waited for Iran to raise the issue about Al Sherbini being killed.
    We can not blame media in Muslim countries because it’s in the end fully ruled and monitored by government and if censorship was in its best situations in Egypt I believe media will be very busy covering crimes happening inside the country by government against its people .

  2. Amin on July 21, 2009 7:42 am

    I just pray for Peace of mind and understanding esp. among arabs.


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