Marwa el-Sherbini trial to begin, Arabs watch and wait
October 26, 2009
Marwa el-Sherbini’s name has become synonymous with the cultural and religious fight ongoing in Europe following her tragic death in early July of this year. The courtroom stabbing at the hands of a German extremist, neo-Nazi, radical named Alex, left much of Egypt and the Arab world crying foul, saying it revealed the turn toward anti-Islamic sentiments in Europe. Small demonstrations were organized, the most popular received international attention, as Egyptians in Alexandria chanted anti-German sentiments…
Sherbini was killed only minutes after winning a court case against the man for defaming her after he had called her a “terrorist” and demanded she return home on a Dresden playground.
The murder stimulated a cultural battle between Europe and the Arab world, with a number of Arabs claiming the murder was part of a larger problem facing European society, namely, racism and hatred of Muslims and Arabs.
“We have seen that Europe is growing more and more conservative by the day, so the killing was a shocking example of what some people will do in order to try to make us go back to where they think we come from,” said 27-year-old German-born Hana Jabar. The Tunisian-German artist, who has lived her entire life in Berlin, says that there are undercurrents within society that are very hateful toward Arabs.
“They don’t realize that there are Christian Arabs, that many of us were born here and are German citizens. They fear what they don’t know,” she added…
One of the main factors that caused much angst among Egyptians and Arabs was the international media’s apparent lack of attention given to the murder. It was not until the anti-German chants began at the Alexandria protest days after the killing that major news networks began following the story. By then, it was too late, with Egyptians demanding a reason for what they called the “double standards” of Western news.
“If it had been a Chrstian white woman killed in an Egyptian courtroom, it would have been the lead story, then there would have been a discussion of how the Middle East hates America and the West, but in this case, there was nothing until a few Egyptians chanted against Germany,” said one Egyptian activist at the time, who was participating in the protests at German government buildings in Egypt…