Marwa El Sherbini

This needs to be surfaced. Nearly a week ago in a Dresden courthouse a 32 year old pregnant woman, Marwa El Sherbini, was stabbed to death in a frenzied attack. Her killer was the man against whom she had just won a defamation case for hate speech – she wore a headscarf and he’d called her “terrorist”. Her husband Elwi Okaz, a geneticist, was critically injured when he intervened, and their three-year-old son was present. Bikya Masr says the man, who is reported not to be affiliated to a far right organisation, had a deep hatred of foreigners.

This hate crime was a fatal nexus of Islamophobic sentiment at a time when the veil is being argued over in Europe. Egyptians, including Eman Abdel Rahman, have been disgusted by the media silence.

87 Responses to “Marwa El Sherbini”

  1. Paul Siemering Says:

    She was stabbed 18 times in a courtroom? What were the German police, the prosecutor, the judge, ANYONE doing? until i get an explanation i will consider the german injustice system complicit in this crime.

    • Mona Says:

      I agree with you 100% on this. I ask myself the same question. Where in heavens were they during the full 8 min. he was stabbing her and her husband. I mean they sure had the tools to fire a shot into her husband’s leg, but not in the killers! He left pretty smoothly untouched

  2. Awami Says:

    Where is CNN! Or BBC why isn’t this event occupying the breaking news when a 32 year pregnant women was stapped 18 times to death
    we can not count there crimes
    50 milllion human was killed in II world war, were not moslems
    more than 100, 000 human were killed during one day, were not moslems
    Dear friends be patient do not behave like them, teach and preach love and tolerance

  3. James Mendelsohn Says:

    Thanks Mira for bringing this to our attention.

  4. Ahmed Says:

    The media silence is really disgusting. The sad irony of this crime is that an innocent woman is murdered by a man who calls her a terrorist. Thus, the victim of terrorism is called terrorist. Another shocking fact is that she was stabbed 18 times in a courtroom. Wasn’t there supposed to be any security in the court. How could the German terrorist smuggle his knife into the courtroom. The third shocking fact is that the police intervened to shoot the husband who was trying to defend his wife. As if the courtroom was set for the terrorist to kill his victim under the protection of German Police.

    • H Kabir Says:

      The Western Medias are busy with Neda Agha-Soltan and made her an icon. Medias very clearly took the snap of her from all sides but could took the snap of her killer. It made many questions. Was it a sabotage and some medias also ……………..

      Probably the President of France Mr. Sarkozy was very much delighted by the killing of Marwa El Sherbini and the killer was inspired by Mr. Sarkozy.

  5. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    What media silence?
    The german and austrian papers and TV reported in detail about this case. So no media silence.
    The perpetrator is a German, who emigrated from Russia.

    • Mona Says:

      Western media DID not report this. I live in the West and it was never reported, nor in Germany where my cousin is continuing his education

      • Karl Pfeifer Says:

        What you say is without any foundation. I am reading every day Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and there it was reported several times.
        Besides you live in the West?. Do you read German?

        • Selina Says:

          I live in the UK and this is the first time I heard of this horrendous crime! I watched a brief report on the Islamic sky channel which led me to here. My god it just makes your blood boil.

    • Abu Azhad Says:

      Media are still busy with MJ’s death. LOL

      • yassir Says:

        LOL TRUE THAT-these people aren’t gonna look at one ordinary women murdered if they are busy with a death of someone who got the worlds attention- (the so called media needs top stories and besides they dont wanna show the world that a german a muslim, that’ll give them bad name

  6. hinde Says:

    I cannot believe that she was hardly mentioned in the media. It’s only online, but not on tv (at least not in belgium)

    • Mona Says:

      It was never even mentioned in German News either from what my cousin told me. He was real surprised too and repulsed

  7. Wilhelm Peek Says:

    This is the same region in Germany where not too long ago eight Indians were hunted through the streets in the small town of Muegeln. Only a few of their neo-nazi and racist attackers were later indicted, only to receive the proverbial legal “slap on the wrist”.

    That in that same region and state, Saxony, not even a public court building in Dresden can protect foreigners against racist murderers, is outrageous.

    Find out how *you* can help to prevent such attacks in the future. Visit the “Domain of Shame” website (link) started by concerned German citizens. We are fed up with our authorities’ and political parties’ do-nothing attitude. Consider to set up a “Dresden Domain of Shame” in *your* country!

  8. zkharya Says:

    This is awful beyond words.

  9. Saul Says:

    It is not only the German authorities who are partly responsible for this atrocity.

    It is those “concerned liberals” who in thinking that the weariing of a headscarf (or, indeed, practicing Islam) is somehow the most important problem or “threat” “Western civilization” faces at the moment, create the atmosphere in which such crimes become even thinkable.

    • David Kames Says:

      There is no-one who could sensibly be labelled a “concerned liberal” who believes that wearing a headscarf or practising Islam is the most important threat or problem facing western civilisation – indeed believing that strips you of any claim to be a liberal. There are many concerned liberals who think that terrorism inspired by a political Islamic agenda is an important threat to the whole world: indeed it’s worst effects are felt within the Islamic world itself. They do not want women to be forced into wearing veils or head scarves, especially ones that cover their faces partially or completely.
      It is racists, xenophobes, and religious bigots who create the atmosphere in which these crimes become thinkable, and they have been around for a very long time, longer than any liberal concern with Islamist terror. It is “concerned liberals” who are the loudest part of “Western civilization” when it comes to decrying attacks on Muslim populations of this (and much worse) kinds, whether they take place in Western Europe, in the Balkans, in Chechnya, or in the Middle East.

    • Mona Says:

      I agree Saul, that’s what it comes down to. They see Islam as a threat when it’s been around for hundreds of years. These people need to take anti anxiety medications

      • joseph Says:

        That’s true, but they have never been so militant as they are now. They demand everything but give no rights to other religions in their countries. Why do they only demonstrate one sided? Why do they never demonstrate outside their consulates for the rights of other religions?

  10. Rebekka Says:

    I am very sorry for what happened!! I am German, but am currently not living in Germany. I am studying ethnic studies because we can’t stay passive and just watch xenophobia and hate crimes happen. We need to start educating, there is a need for a new curriculum in Germany and across the globe.

  11. Saul Says:

    I agree that it is not all “concerned liberals” who adopt the position I note. Unfortunately, many do. I also think that arguments made in the UK and elsewhere (and applying to English Muslims) against the headscarf are not anathema to liberalism, but for many, an integral part of it, especially in its more “abstract” forms.

  12. H.Salimi Says:

    Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidences, and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits (e.g. by doing oppression unjustly and exceeding beyond the limits set by Allah by committing the major sins) in the land!.
    مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَلَقَدْ جَاء تْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا بِالبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُم بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فِي الأَرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ
    قرآن – مائده – 32
    4 ma-ede

  13. H.Salimi Says:

    In Islam words when a person such as marwa killed without any reason, we can say all human has been killed.

  14. Saul Says:

    Dear H. Salimi,
    I think that, as is so often the case, here the particularism of Islam expresses a universal truth to which no one can disagree.

    Unfortunately, though, Marwa was not killed without a reason. The reason was racism, bigotry and hatred. Nonetheless, your comment remains true.

  15. Birgit Brandt Says:

    I am so sad and so appalled that this lady was murdered in a German courtroom, a place supposed to dispense justice and protection. I have lived in Canada for over 20 years, and I know the difference between a country where racism and discrimination permeate the mainstream, and a country that truly espouses multiculturalism where all citizens are equal before the law and in each other’s eyes.

  16. Valéria Fernandes Says:

    What amazes me is the fact that this woman was stabbed 18 times. And this was not the first case I read about people murdering others in German courtrooms. Where was the security? The State is guilty. Her husband was a double victim too, because he was shot by the security.

    I don’t see it as a primary case of islamophobia, but as violence against woman first, second xenophobia mixed maybe with racism, and last ratred against Islam. She was an easy target and the murdered throwed all his anger against her, but he would take other people. As you do not expect women to react with violence he chose one of us.

  17. johng Says:

    Why this fear from some commentators of admitting that this is a case of Islamophobia? Its simply disengenuous, for instance, to suggest that it is ‘primarily’ a case of violence against women: although it is ‘a’ case of violence against women obviously.

    She was initially attacked because she was visibly a Muslim, and she was visibly a Muslim because she was wearing Hijab which the attacker claimed made her a terrorist.

    I think there is a real problem with some people thinking that recognising that religious minorities can be targetted for attack somehow undermines their secular credentials. Quite the reverse.

    I think there is also a real problem with recognising that the persecution of religious minorities can be bound up with racism. That is to say that one of the things that gives Islamophobia its charge is the notion that these people are also ‘alien’ and ‘outsiders’ and that therefore their being different is an additional threat to ‘our values’. They don’t belong here in Europe in other words.

    I think its about time that people realised that arguments suggesting that ‘there is no such thing as Islamophobia’, or that it cannot be racist because religions are not the same thing as race, gave it up. There is such a thing as Islamophobia and it is racist.

    It should not be a problem for any secular person to acknowledge this, and it should not be a problem for any protagonist of debates about political Islam and its impact on the middle east to acknowledge this. The two should have nothing to do with each other.

  18. Richard Gold Says:

    What JohnG said.

  19. Xeno Says:

    I can’t believe this was allowed to happen in a European Courtroom.

    What’s worse is that security which reacted LATE, opened fire on the poor husband who tried to protect her, still the assailant got to stab her 18 times???

    And the media completely ignored it? I guess we Muslims have to be prepared to see more of these things happening to us in the West. Afterall, Westerners have no remorse for what their forces do in our countries, why should we be suprised if they don’t care about us getting brutally murdered in public. Minority rights? ”Western Liberal society protecting everyone against discrimination??? What a load of BS!!!

  20. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    What all those critics of Germany forget to mention. The state attorney found the punishment for the perpetrator to lenient.

    Just German googling gives the result 16.200 pages.

  21. zkharya Says:


    “Why this fear from some commentators of admitting that this is a case of Islamophobia?”

    Why this hovering round the Engage comments threads picking fights that aren’t to be had. Who here has shown fear to call this Islamophobia?

    Is that what you were waiting for me to do? I didn’t post anymore because I didn’t know what to say.

    It seems clear to me this was a racist attack (possibly by someone of Russian-Jewish extraction), and several people here have said that. Did we not specify the nature of the racism enough? But didn’t David Hirsh say “Islamophobic” in the article? Who here is disagreeing?

    Is this what all those years sharpening your research skills for a PhD you never attained amount to? Finding spurious pretexts to call or imply pro-Zionist British Jews are “Islamophobic” or insufficiently sensitive to Islamophobia?

    Some prophet of the revolution you are.

    Also, David, are you never going to attach a preview option to your new site?

    • Gil Says:

      Zkharya, what on earth prompted you to write about the killer,’probably by someone of Russian-Jewish extraction’?

      Mona cheerfully declares that he is of Russian-Jewish descent – whatever that means – So, does this make it true?

      I think that whether the killer is Jewish or not has no bearing whatsoever on the matter.

      • zkharya Says:

        because mona wrote it and it might be true. i don’t know. i see know evidence for it other than mona is someone who is an ok person who posts here regularly (or maybe she isn’t: i don’t remember). i don’t think it means anything, necessarily, other than, if it was a jew, as opposed to someone of jewish extraction, this was shameful to jews.

        if it doesn’t matter if the person was jewish or not, why does it matter if it is mentioned, or not?

        johng was trying to make out people here are afraid to acknowledge islamophobia in this attack: i was going the extra mile to show i wasn’t afraid to acknowledge the killer was of jewish extraction, if true.

      • zkharya Says:

        “probably by someone of Russian-Jewish extraction’?”

        I didn’t write “probably”, I wrote “possibly”.

        • kt Says:

          Wow. “if it was a jew, as opposed to someone of jewish extraction, this was shameful to jews.”

          You have got to be kidding me.

          It’s shameful to PEOPLE, folks, to ALL PEOPLE. That includes you, me and everyone on this planet.

          Let’s start from the beginning: Killing people is wrong. Killing people is shameful.

          Your ethnicity/background/religion versus the ethnicity/background/religion of the person you kill does not justify your killing them. Nor, does it make your actions that much more shameful for having killed them.

          You killed someone.

          Get it?

        • zkharya Says:

          “You killed someone.

          Get it?”


  22. abdulla Says:

    we need to be updated, on the german actions abdut this mater. Its a very sencitive issue.

  23. H.Salimi Says:

    I see a double face in all UN men.
    when a woman in Iran killed with a bullet from an undetermined point in recent Iran’s events, all of them accuse iran by no evidence and endeavor to call Iran a Anti-human rights Like always.
    I think this pain for all people in the world is worse that all of UN men were silent in Marwa case.
    we have no expectation from US, Germany or the sleeping men of France. all of them have shown their face in Gaza Crime that more than a thousand people were killed.
    I Repine to the the owner of world that Oppression is very painful in this days, and I want a Remedy from Delphic world .

  24. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Mina Ahadi member of the central committee of former Muslims in Germany declared: “„The homicide of a young Egyptian is awfull. But the bloody deed does not give islamistic organisations the right to benefit politically from it and to put a muzzle on the mouth of critics of Islam“ Suddenly nobody speak about the so called honour killings, which are reality in islamic moulded families.
    There is no islamophobia in Germany. On the contrary the German govt. made concessions to Islamist organisations.

  25. Alaaudin Ali Says:

    what happen in the courtroom exactly in this 8 minutes
    The german police refuse to open same room and accept to open semilar one
    I think we dont know what hapen inside the courtroom and they hide evry thing until now and that mean they share in the crime.
    sorry for my bad English but I think you will understand me

  26. Alaaudin Ali Says:

    I,m sure the murder will go out from the prison after few years so the court will sympathy with him later

  27. Alaaudin Ali Says:

    the racism in Germany not against Islam only but against every one different in religious with them , they sent the troops to every where in the world like USA to kill the people they say in the news papers and media what they will not do
    they refuse Nazi in the media but they apply it in realtime
    this women not first victim
    while we are the victim in this case but the media will convert the case to Islamophobia as they do every time
    If you arnt Eu or USA you will suffer in this bad world until to die

  28. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    It is a bloody lie that the perpetrator was Jewish.
    The fellow is one of those many Germans or people of German descent who emigrated to Germany.
    It is one isolated case and a lot of people try to make German society and German govt responsible for it.
    No wonder that in Iran the German embassy was attacked and the ambassador was called to the Iranian foreign office.
    This serves to draw attention away from the suppression in Iran and the electoral fraud.
    Interesting that we do not hear many reactions from the Muslim world to the wanton pogrom against 26 Muslim Uigur workers in South China which caused disturbances in Urumci. We could see on TV the attack of Uigurs against Han Chinese, but not the attack of Han Chinese against Uigurs.
    Alaaudin Ali you are sure that the murderer will go out after a few years and you pretend to know a lot about Germany. I am quite often staying for weeks in Germany and cannot detect any Islamophobia. There were some people opposing the construction of a mosque in Köln. The result was that the mayor of that city and a lot of people demonstrated for the construction.
    Alaaudin Ali could you explain, why a lot of Christian churches are attacked in Pakistan? Why no church can be constructed in Saudi Arabia. Why even the possession of a bible in that country is punishable?

  29. zkharya Says:


    I just see this as an Islamophobic, racist killing. I don’t see how this serves Islamism or to distract from Iran. What Johng said was idiotic, but I’m not sure I understand your point.

  30. Jonathan Romer Says:


    I should let Karl speak for himself, but I agree with the point I think he’s making.

    The killing of Marwa el Sherbini was an atrocity, it was motivated by racist hate, and the press dropped the ball — they were, at a minimum, too slow to to recognise that it had an importance to people greater than the very many other brutal and needless murders that occur every day.

    But — and it is possible to recognise that there is a “but” without wishing to minimise Ms. Sherbini’s murder or her family’s tragedy — there is visible in some of the responses an attempt to use her death to flagellate entire societies, whether German or more broadly Western. In particular, it is visible in numerous responses from Egyptian and other Muslim voices. Looking just at the responses on this one thread at Engage, we have Awami wanting to link this to the Muslim and overall death toll of WWII; Ahmed hinting that the German police facilitated the killing and shot the husband intentionally; H. Kabir declaring that the killer was both inspired and applauded by Nicolas Sarkozy; Mona insisting that the German media were silent — even though Karl, who lives in Austria and reads the German press, testifies that he saw the coverage; Xeno who thinks that it’s all because “Westerners have no remorse for what their forces do in our countries” and “don’t care about us getting brutally murdered in public “; H. Salimi using it to minimise the brutality of Iran’s regime against its own people and to claim it as evidence that the US, Germany, France and the entire UN is against whichever “we” he or she is part of; and Alaaudin Ali accusing both the German police and courts of complicity, and of modern-day Nazism to boot, and offering it as evidence that we in the EU and US bring nothing but suffering to the rest of the world whilst, presumably, living lives of unalloyed merriment ourselves.

    I have no way of knowing how many people these voices represent, nor how capable they are of whipping up sentiment, but I have a good enough memory to remember how well the same process worked in the case of the Danish Mohammed cartoons. When instances occur of people using isolated events to demonise all Muslims or Arabs, or some sub-population of them, contributors to Engage are alert to the problem and quick to slap it down. It is disconcerting that in this case only Karl seems to be willing to say what ought to be said in defence of Germany and, by extension, the rest of the West.

  31. Hal Says:

    According to reports ( see Wikipedia, for example: ) the perpetrator, one “Alex W.”, was “born in Russia of German ethnic origin”. I.e. unlikely to be Jewish. Given the involvement of the Iranian government now, had he been Jewish I imagine we would have heard of it.

  32. Waziz Says:

    Marwar was killed unfailrly by a thug who deserves the death sentence which needs to be instituted in the EU for situations like this one. The German Police is negligent in allowing an accused attack the acuser. However, the killer is a deranged Russian immigrant and we should not call the German people names especially Ahmadi Najad the killer of Nada and thousands of Iranian because they disagree with the Nazi Regime of Iran. Those are the real Nazis.

  33. zkharya Says:

    And sorry i said david hirsh wrote this piece not Mira Vogel.

  34. fred Says:

    This is from a German anti-racist site associated with Stern magazine:

    “In another article on 8 July, Tagesspiegel reported that Marwa el-Sherbini’s accused murderer, Alex W. had asked her in the courtroom: ‘Do you have a right to be in Germany at all?’ Then he threatened her: ‘When the NPD comes to power, there’ll be an end to that. I voted NPD.’ While the Dresden police said they had no record of Alex W.’s involvement in neo-Nazi activities, by 10 June the Tagesspiegel was stating with certainty that ‘the accused is thought to have links to the NPD’. “

  35. zkharya Says:

    Well, apart from allowing for the possibility, based on what may an unreliable source, of the perpetrator’s being Jewish, I do not think I have said anything wrong. Nor do I think the first wrong. I did not assert it as fact.

  36. zkharya Says:

    I thought Mona was a regular. She might be just a visiting antisemite.

  37. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    my answer did not pass the censorship. Sorry. I try now again
    Jonathan Romer, looks like I cannot anymore publish my views on Engage. And no reason is given.
    Today Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung believes, that the recent killings of 4 Christians in Iraq has to do with the
    killing of Marwa el Sherbini.
    Thank you Fred for giving the readers correct information about Germany.

  38. Muslim Living In Europe Says:

    To Karl Pfeifer:
    I am living in Europe, but not in Germany, and all (And I mean all) my German friends who are highly educated and living in Germany knew the story from me, until it was mentioned in one of the main German radio station just prior the G8.
    I agree the story was published in many German newspapers but mainly as a security issue in German courts.
    As fred indicated the murderer has said while stabbing her “You have no right to live”, so it is not only a case of violence against women, but it is definitly a racism case.
    Also to give you more information, Marwa has told her mother monthes before getting murdered, that she has tried to find a pharmacy to train her in Germany, it was very difficult, one of them asked her to get rid of her headscarf to get trained in his pharmacy, until she went to a pharmacy owned by a lady who has visited Luxor, and dealt with the Egyptians, so she agreed to train her.
    I think that shows how far she has suffered from the racism.
    At the end I do not accuse all the Germans, because, I have visited Germany many many times, and it is really nice Country, and I have many German friends who are decent, left winged, but as I told you earlier they knew the story from me.
    By the way we should not ignore the German statistics, that 50% of the Germans in the Eastern part are supporting the NPD, and only 25% in Western Part is supporting it, so I consider myself lucky that all my visits were only to the Western part.

  39. For Marwa Says:

    So, again, myths abound.

    is a musical tribute to Marwa – in the left is the lie that “she was stabbed to death 18 times by a German guy (originally a russian jew )”. Following the link one comes across a site supporting Palestine.

    I guess in the cause of hating Israel means that Marwa becomes a double victim – first of a German racist, and then the victim of an antisemite for whom her life and death is reduced to no more than a tool with which to beat Jews.

    But, of course, as we have been told, there is no blurring between anti-zionism and anti-Semitism.

  40. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Muslim in Europe

    Having lost about 3 Dozen members of my family as result from Nazi racism and the Holocaust I am very sensitive to racism and as a journalist, I have written many articles about victims of racism.
    Reading your posting it looks like your “highly educated friends” do not read German papers and don’t watch German TV.

    I am reading every day the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (can be compared as far as importance is concerned to New York Times) and I watch in the evening at least one German TV newsreel.. I have read quite a few articles on Marwa el Sherbini who was killed in court in this daily and the case was reported by German TV in detail.

    When this happened in Dresden, the TV and radio interrupted it’s broadcast. Alone the fact, that a man could kill with a knife in a courtroom a woman was shocking.

    Only one day later it became known, that the fellow was an emigrant from Russia who was (or was not) of German descent. The German media reported in detail since then about the affair and that the victim was an Egyptian Muslima, who complained about the perpetrator because he offended her. Do not forget, that the state attorney found the verdict in the case of the perpetrator not severe enough and appealed and this murder happened when the appeal was heard. German courts take racist offences very seriously because of Germany’s past.

    You contradict yourself because you admit that German media reported on the case. German media wrote of course about the motivation of the perpetrator and about the background of the victim and her headscarf.

    But it is absolutely wrong to accuse as some Islamists do, the German media or even the German govt. of racism against Muslims. It cannot be denied that such feeling exist in certain strata of the population, but unfortunately no country and no people is free from racism. And such feelings are also to be found between Muslims.

    Discrimination because of religion, colour of the skin, ethnic origin, etc is absolutely forbidden in Germany and Austria, and there are legal possibilities to appeal to courts if such a discrimination happen.

    Fact is, that Marwa el Sherbini was allowed to work by her husband. Her neighbour informed a German paper, that M.el Sherbini herself declared not to be extreme in her religious beliefs. The exploitation of her case for Islamist incitement against Germany and Germans is despicable and should be condemned by decent persons.

    You are transporting the untruth when you claim that 50% of Germans in the former GDR “are supporting the NPD”, if that is the case, why is not one representative of NPD in the Bundestag, the German parliament. From which source do you take this information?

    So probably next time when you write, try to make yourself familiar with the subject matter you write upon unless you have an ideological agenda.

  41. fred Says:

    zkharya — in addition to a few sources out there suggesting Alex W. is a Russian of German extraction (which would explain his quick citizenship, he emigrated in 2003 according to Le Monde), what I posted earlier suggests he supports the neo-Nazi NPD party. So I don’t think there’s a real possibility W is Jewish.

    Karl would probably know better than I, but I think most Jewish emigrants from the CIS would be registered as such, as it gives them a fast track towards getting a German passport. So I believe the local Jewish community authorities in Dresden would have W registered w/them, if he was Jewish.

  42. johng Says:

    I responded to a post which stated that that the poster did not regard this as primarily an Islamophobic act. It seemed to me that this reflected widespread confusions on the liberal left and the liberal right about this issue. And that is all.

  43. zkharya Says:

    John, you thought fit to accuse “some commentators of admitting that this is a case of Islamophobia”. Silly me thought you meant “commentators on Engage”. Of course, you really meant “of the left generally”. Yeah right.

    Only one person, a woman who I do not think has ever posted here before, said that she thought the act was not not Islamophobic, but only thirdly so after misogyny. A mistaken view, I agree, to be sure. But why extrapolate this into a trend on Engage? Oh, but of course, you meant “the left generally”.

    I think you were sniffing round Engage to find some “Zionists” to label as “white wing” closet Islamophobes, in your initimable fashion.

  44. zkharya Says:

    oops, “inimitable fashion”.

    David, what about a review button?

  45. johng Says:

    I didn’t accuse anybody of anything. I asked why this was an assumption. And related it wider confusions related to secularism. You ought to read what people actually say before responding to them.

  46. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Iranian Media reports:
    “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has criticized the West for its double-standard policy toward the human rights issue and asked the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Germany for the murder of Marwa al-Sherbini. […]The sad event was a sign of the corruption of the country’s judicial system, the president stated during a cabinet session on Sunday, and he condemned Berlin’s policy toward minorities.
    The West has been silent about the murder of a Muslim woman in Germany although they create a stir about the pre-planned unrest created by certain groups in Iran, he added.
    President Ahmadinejad urged the United Nations Security Council to condemn the German government and its judicial system for not respecting the inalienable rights of the country’s residents.

    at the same time we can read
    Iran executes 13 Sunni militants …

    In recent weeks the Iranian government has increased the already high number of executions, possibly as a way of asserting its authority in the wake of the disputed presidential election result, says the BBC’s Jon Jeyne.
    Human rights groups accuse Iran of making excessive use of the death penalty but Tehran insists it is an effective deterrent that is used only after a lengthy judicial process.

    The murder of Marwa el Sherbini is a good excuse for Iran’s president to draw away attention from the cruelty and abuses of Human Rights of his own regime.

  47. zkharya Says:

    John, you never come on Engage to ask rhetorical questions about commenters elsewhere but not here.

  48. Comrade T Says:

    For a person who spends his time pretending not to see contemporary antisemitism and its relationship to/blurring with contemporary anti-zionism, johng is sure quick to dismiss (legitimate) feminist critiques of violence against women that prioritise gender over other aspects of “identity”.

    In his little world, the “real issue, comrade” is class or, after its unholy alliances with the more regressive political and social forces, imperialism through which category he forces racism against Muslims.

  49. Jonathan Romer Says:

    Johng drops by to seize upon the lone example of a poster who thinks this was a misogynist murder more than an anti-Muslim one, and spins from it into a whole string of assertions about “some people”. He brings no evidence at all, nothing to say which people, where or when, but when he is challenged he’s all wounded innocence (though still evidence-free) and suddenly it’s a thread about johng. How very troll of you, John.

  50. Muslim In Europe Says:

    To Karl Pfeifer:
    1) The statistics regarding the support of NPD within the German comunity was done by the Friedrich Ebert trust found in 2008.
    Check the link of the guardian (As just an example of other links mentioned this statistics).
    I have heard as well the news that many German Lawyers have volunteered to defend the murderer, and one of the parties in Germany is going to support him socially and financially!, and there is No SINGLE German lawyer has volunteered to defend the right of the pregnant victim, and her terrified family, does that give an indication for something?!, I wish that this news is really fake.
    2) For my firends, I have discussed with my German Friends living in Bonn, Hamburg, and Düsseldorf, and they knew the story from me, they even thought I was joking becuase they have not heard anything about the racism story, BUT they heard only a short news about a murder case in the courtroom as a murder crime.
    Yesterday, I was discussing with a Dutch friend, and he was shocked as well when he knew the story, becuase no enough details were published in Dutch media.
    3) I am not contradicting myself, because the German media has published this case as a murder crime with no much details, check the above link as well, and it is not just an article, but it is the truth, because I am living here in Europe, and I knew about the story just one day before her body arrived Egypt, and I knew it from my relatives in Egypt.
    At the end I agree that racism exists everywhere, and I do not have any agenda at all, except I am a human opposing racism everywhere, and even in my home country.

    • Alan Says:

      I checked the link. The writer does not say that 50% in the East and 25% in the West support the NPD; she says that these were the percentages “agreeing with xenophobic statements” (but does not tell us what these statements were). A line or two above, the level of voter support for the NPD in the state of Saxony is given. Presumably it is the highest figure the writer could find. It is 5.1%. (Which, I add for the avoidance of doubt, is 5.1% too much.)

      • Sarah Says:

        Yes, my guess is that these xenophobic statements must be pretty mild/marginal – and I’m sure that the overwhelming majority of Germans must be horrified by this terrible racist/Islamophobic murder. But assuming ‘Muslim living in Europe’ was given the correct information about Marwa’s difficulties obtaining training that does point to a difference between German and British culture I think. Although I understand the reasoning behind wanting to limit religious symbols in, for example, schools, I personally much prefer the more liberal ways of the UK. I feel that encountering women in hijab (or men with religious head coverings) in all sorts of workplace contexts is likely to counter prejudices.

  51. For Marwa Says:

    Dear “Muslim in Europe”.
    I understand how you feel.
    In the recent attack in India, some, of my co-religionists, including a pregnant woman, were murdered simply for being Jewish and yet few recognised that fact and, indeed, many tried to silence those who raised it.

    If I may end with your own words, with which I agree (except opposing racism is an agenda, one we should be proud of)

    “At the end I agree that racism exists everywhere, and I do not have any agenda at all, except I am a human opposing racism everywhere, and even in my home country.”


  52. Muslim Living In Europe Says:

    Dear “For Marwa”
    I totally agree we have to be proud of opposing racism anywhere, and I am proud of that.
    The brave decent Mr. Stephan Kramer said regarding this case:
    “You don’t have to be Muslim to oppose anti-Muslim behavior, and you don’t have to be Jewish to oppose anti-Semitism,”
    And I would like to do add: You just need to be a human to oppose the racist behaviour.

  53. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    It is quite strange Muslim in Europe, that you insist that your German friends are informed and I am not.
    If you go now and google on the German google
    “Marwa el Sherbini” and “Mord” (murder) you will find 8070 pages.
    Now google on the German google
    “Ilan Halimi” and “Mord” and you will find only 2.870 pages.

    This relation is O.K. because the Jew Ilan Halimi was murdered by a band of muslim criminals only because he was a Jew and this happened in France while the murder of el Sherbini happened in Germany.

    Let me tell you the truth every time when a honour killing is perpetrated in Germany some Muslims complain bitterly because the ethnic/religious background is reportet by media.

    I am reading daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and had I known before, that somebody is going to publish the untruth that no German paper has published on the background of this murder, I would have cut the items out of the paper, scanned them and sent them to Engage for publication.

    Now Alan you are dishonest. you come with the article in Guardian, but I related to what Muslim in Europe wrote. Do you demand from me qualities of a clairvoyant?

    What she said was not only untrue but not logical and not being a clairvoyant Alan I could ónly react to that.

    Interesting many Islamists and their apologists complain, that media reports on honour killings, on the genocide in Sudan (Darfur) on terror perpetrated by Muslims against Muslims and Non-Muslims and now the complain, that the German media has neglected to report tha Sherbini was a Muslima.

    • Alan Says:

      No, Karl, I was on your side! My point was that MiE, probably quite innocently, had misread the Guardian article, which (tendentious though it is) gives no support at all to her claims about the NPD.

  54. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Sorry Alan, Very sorry.
    mea maxima culpa
    Kind regards from a very hot and humid Vienna
    Karl Pfeifer

  55. Katrin Bandel Says:

    Why is it so difficult to admit that islamophobia was involved? The murderer abused her because of her headscarf and called her a terrorist. Doesn’t that make it absolutely clear that it was a particular stereotypical image of Islam that made him hate the woman?

    That does certainly not automatically mean that all Germans are islamophobic, or that German society in general is. Anyhow, there have been several cases that should at least make us worry a bit. The recent case of the cultural prize that the government of Hessen wanted to give to representatives of 4 religions for example: The Muslim representative was excluded because of totally ridiculous claims by the Catholic representative that he had insulted Christian faith.

    The shocking murder of Marwa el Sherbini should make us take islamophobia more seriously. We should certainly not just ASSUME that German society is islamophobic, but we should at least give it a serious thought.

    There may be people who abuse this case for political or other reasons. The story may be sometimes manipulated, retold in an incorrect or exaggerated way. This always happens with sensitive cases like this one. But that does not make the case less terrible, or less islamophobic!

    (There’s a very good article by Walid el Houri on, check it out!)

  56. Muslim In Europe Says:

    First: Regarding this statistic it was done by the Friedrich Ebert trust found in 2008, that what was mentioned in many websites, and I do not really who did this statistic, and how, but that what I read, sorry that I made a typo regarding supporting NPD, where the statistic were about “agreeing with xenophobic statements”, but I believe that supporting this statement anyhow is much worse than supporting the NPD, and as I said as well I have not heard about a single German Lawyer until now volunteered to support the victim!
    Second: As I said earlier I am opposing the racism anywhere, anyhow, and I admit that I feel ashamed that a Jewish was killed by Muslims in France, because those fanatics are getting the shame to the majority of moderate Muslims, I am expressing my apology for all the Jews for this crime, but I believe such apology needs a separate article, and not just a comment, however I found on the other hand a denial that there are racists as well from the Europeans that they would kill a pregnant woman in front of her son even inside the courtroom, and I am not the person that made up the term “Neo Nazi”.
    Third: Sarah, I respect the British open minded neutral culture, and regarding the training in Germany that what has been mentioned by one of her family member, and I think that is true, please read my next point.
    Fourth: In Europe I met many many nice Europeans, from Germany, France, The Netherlands, and other countries as well, who will do their best to help you, and also I met few bad persons, but generally speaking for most I met in Europe they start to show some doubts until they know us (me and my wife) more, then they turn to be very friendly, and I can summarize the reasons for that in 2 points:

    1) Interesting many Islamists and their apologists complain, that media reports on honour killings, on the genocide in Sudan (Darfur) on terror perpetrated by Muslims against Muslims and Non-Muslims and now the complain” do you think it is a little racist against muslim?

    2) The traditional image that has been conveyed by many western media that the terrorists are always Arabs, so right now our Middle Eastern features are our IDs to be an ignorant person, or even a terrorist, until you prove not, and sometimes that is really frustrating, and that might explain why the poor victim has struggled until she found a pharmacy her owner visited Egypt earlier, because some Europeans are relating the headscarf with being close minded or ignorant.
    Fifth: Regarding the count of the pages on Google, I do not know if this is the count of pages now or on 03.07.2009?, and regardless to any of my friends, I am explaining my personal experience, as others have confirmed that as well, while others said that this is not true.
    Sixth: I was expecting that this article here is to show support and sympathy for a pregnant victim murdered in the place which should the safest for her, but I found instead some are pin pointing, and I can easily point back also to many incidents happened for Muslims inside, and outside Europe, but even to entire Muslim countries, but it will end up to be more unmatured racist discussion, and I hate that.
    At the end my experience is that the German media has overlooked the case in the beginning, and I am here to support her, and her family, as I am pretty confident she is a victim to brutal racist crime, although some might disagree with me!
    By the way Karl, I wish Vienna is sunny as well, I miss the sun, here where I live it is cloudy, rainy and a bit cold, so enjoy the sun:-)

  57. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Dear Muslim in Europe and dear Kathrin
    I never denied the fact, that there are racists in Germany or in Austria. And of course part of the extreme right is directing it’s propaganda against Muslims. No question that the Dresden perpetrator was motivated by hatred against an educated Muslim woman.

    But I was very angry with you Muslim in Europe, because my native tongue is German and I am staying quite frequently in Germany. I watch more often German TV and read as I have written FAZ and what you have said about German media is not true.

    You write: “The traditional image that has been conveyed by many western media that the terrorists are always Arabs, so right now our Middle Eastern features are our IDs to be an ignorant person, or even a terrorist, until you prove not, and sometimes that is really frustrating, and that might explain why the poor victim has struggled until she found a pharmacy her owner visited Egypt earlier, because some Europeans are relating the headscarf with being close minded or ignorant.”

    Serious western media (I read German, English, French and Italian papers) do report about the facts. Of course not all the terrorists are Arab or Muslim. But to a very high percentage they are. Take today the bombing of a Hotel in Jakarta. Take all those cases when shi’ites bomb sunnite mosques and vice versa.

    But take other phenomena like honour killings. Not all those perpetrating this crime are Muslims, but a very high percentage is.

    Or take the genocide in Sudan (Darfur) where Muslims massacre other Muslims.

    Can you blame the media that it is reporting on it.
    After all when we hear about such a killing in the west we do not bomb mosques or attack Muslims as a rule.
    The case in Dresden should raise alarm, but it is not a mass phenomen. When dear Muslim in Europe you think about what happened after the Danish caricatures were published in Arab and Muslim countries, you see an entirely different reproach. Part of the problems you find in the Arab Human Development Report prepared by Arab scientists.
    And those problems are quite complex and have to do also to a certain part with religion.

    Here in Austria many leftwingers shrug their shoulders when one is speaking about this and answer, “well that is their culture”
    This is in my humble opinion a racist approach because it concludes that Arabs and Muslims are inferior beings who are not able to respect Human Rights.

    Now I know Muslims living in Austria who understand that Human Rights are universal and should be respected every where. As a matter of fact, some of those Muslims are here in Austria because in their home country basic Human Rights are not respected.

    Muslim in Europe the heat and the humidity are tonight to be interrupted at least for two days thus saving our weekend.

    I wish you Kathrin and to all the readers a pleasant weekend and hope to go on Sunday to our favorite Heurigen and to drink a good glass of wine.

  58. Muslim In Europe Says:

    “Interesting many Islamists and their apologists complain, that media reports on honour killings, on the genocide in Sudan (Darfur) on terror perpetrated by Muslims against Muslims and Non-Muslims and now the complain” do you think it is a little racist against muslim?”

    Can you ask Karl to remove it from his post because its a little bit racist?

  59. Muslim In Europe Says:

    I do not agree as well about your statistics, when you say a high percentage, I would be grateful if you give a me a real study for that, by the way the number of Muslims world wide are much more than the entire population of Europe, so if there thousands of fanatics, then this is totally unfair.
    Second the Europeans are mixing between 2 major issues.
    1) The customs: Some customs in some muslim countries are encouraging that, and unfortunately that those customes are supported by fanatics, where 90% of the fanatics are not highly educated, and the rest 10% are highly paid, or want to rule, and govern.
    2)The religion: The religion itself it is widely respecting human rights, but you have to read the religion as a whole instead of looking just to some points only.
    Here are some orders which we must follow in our religion which I do not think most of the Europeans know:
    1) Who is only allowed to penalize by killing is the judge, and only if he or she did an action lead to kill others as, or have the same impact as :
    a) Murder
    b) Raping
    c) Massive Drug dealing
    When Penalizing by killing (or any other penalty) the Judge MUST be 100% sure that the guy has committed the crime, and if there is any doubt even if it is very small, this doubt is considered as a benefit for the criminal and he is innocent at this time.
    2) Any other sort of action by any means which cause an injury (and not even killing to an innocent people) is extremely a taboo.
    In the history some guys did stupid things but that is away from the religion.
    3) Now the most puzzling issue for the West is the Jihad, in our religion the Jihad is many ranks the first rank is to fight against the devil, by simply not doing bad things as lieing, stealing, insulting, hurting others,…etc, and the highest rank of the Jihad is fighting in the war, which all the Western people know, now, does that means anyone wants to make the Jihad he just bombs himself or kill others, although some ignorant people think that what is Jihad, because simply they are ignorant, but no it is NOT, the only body allowed to order that is the legal government of the country, in another way Jihad is exactly the same like the compulsory military service called by the government now a days and nothing more, and nothing less, so it is not a an individual action by any means, also it has many rules.
    4) We were ordered that we must be modest, and not fanatics, but also some ignorant guys do not do so.

    Now why some ignorant people interpret the religion wrongly? Simply because they are interpreting the Quran wrongly, as the Quran has many verses that are very specific to special events, and you could not apply every single verse generally also the Quran is in formal Arabic, which is a difficult language, where ignorant persons can simply interpret it wrongly if they know only their slang, that is why the fanatics are mainly ignorant persons.
    Another example about ignorance:
    During the funeral of the poor pregnant victim some people chanted “The German are enemies of God”, and that is totally prohibited in religion, because Muslims must not insult others, and that was a clear order from our Prophet the we should not ever insult others.
    I can give you more and more information about the religion, but I think that can be offline if you are interested.
    The problem that some Western writers simply pickup all the bad things and mix that together, then they get this strange idea about the religion, and the readers simply read what is written, and I am pretty sure that many did not read the Quran itself and Sunna.
    I will tell you something, I was brought up in Egypt, and in a religious family, but also a highly educated one, where in the building I lived there where a lot of our neighbors and friends who are Christians, and when I was very young (11-12 years), I noticed that many times we are closing the windows of the kitchen while we are cooking, and sometimes not, then I knew from my parents that our religion is asking us that we must be friendly and nice with other religions (Yes our religion is ordering us to do so despite what you hear), so that is why in the fasting period of the Christians we used to close windows of the kitchen when we were cooking meat, and such stuff, so not to hurt them, and on the other hand, my Christian neighbors and friends used to do the same in Ramadan, anyhow when I was 16 I started to read in the bible so to know more Christian rules so not to hurt them, and that is our religion, the real one, not the one most Europeans know.
    By the way do you know that Muslims are fasting one day in the year to celebrate the day that God (Allah) saved Moses from Pharaoh.
    Now can you tell me how many European read the real Quran? Most of them are relying on the newspapers, books or TV shows that were written or conducted by others.
    Until now many of the Europeans I meet get astonished that I have never insulted, or hit my wife, and kids, and when I tell them that is our religion they do not believe me, and they think I am just a weak Muslim, but that is wrong, I am just following my religion.

  60. Katrin Bandel Says:

    Karl, just a few words on the bombings in Jakarta. Upto this moment it is totally unclear who was responsible for the bombings. Islamist terrorism is only one of the possible motives considered by the Indonesian police, the media and the Indonesian public. (I live in Indonesia and amfollowing the reportings and discussions.) Many Indonesians rather suspect that there is a connection to the recent elections.
    Whatever the motive of the bombings, the bombers were probably Muslims, as more than 80% of the Indonesian population are Muslims. But why do you immediately consider this important?

    Certainly you are right that the media should be able and allowed to report the facts. But reports can very well be biased while at the same time being factually correct.

  61. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Dear Muslim in Europe,
    probably instead of blaming the West, it’s media and Germany for the murder of o n e
    Muslim, you should answer a few simple questions
    The 3 most pressing human development deficits in the Arab region: knowledge, freedom, and women’s empowerment have to do also with religion. For one cannot blame forever Western colonialism for the fact that
    Arab states are charactarised by corruption, a high level of army involvement in shaping and managing policy, weak political institutions, a lack of democratization, leading to arbitrary, centralized government leadership and a maximization of the role of the military in politics that placed them almost in hierarchical command
    There are constitutions, political parties, and parliaments, but these are insignificant and often lack influence.
    So try to answer the simple question, if”Islam is the answer” as some preachers say, why then is the Arab world in this situation?
    “Published by the United Nations Development Programme, the Arab Human Development Report says that the aggregate of translated books from the Al Ma’moon era to the present day numbers 10,000 books – equivalent to what Spain translates in a single year.
    In terms of quantity, and notwithstanding the increase in the number of translated books from 175 per year during 1970-1975 to 330, the number of books translated in the Arab world is one-fifth of the number translated in Greece.
    “The disparity was revealed in the first half of the 1980’s when the average number of books translated per 1 million people in the Arab world during the five-year period was 4.4 (less than one book for every million Arabs), while in Hungary it was 519, and in Spain 920.”
    “Translation is a means of seeking knowledge, and it represents an interaction among civilisations through the transfer from one language to another, by humans or machines, (through) written or oral (words), with the goal of achieving scientific and cultural objectives. While more knowledge-hungry countries are paying attention to translation from sources other than English and efforts in this regard are not restricted to recent or contemporary knowledge, a marked shortage of translations of basic books on philosophy, literature, sociology and the natural sciences is quite evident in the Arab world,” points out the report

    Reading the Quran, the Hadith, different Fatwas of your Sheiks of Al Azhar I cannot find an answer to those questions. Probably you can give us an explanation for this situation in the Arab world.

    • Ahmed Says:

      Being that knowledgable, you must know who backs the westernised regimes that keep most Muslims weak and divided and away even from their own religion. I’m not gonna play the blame game, but read more about modern political history in the Muslim world and you will see.

      During the Ma’moon age and for a long time the Muslim world did not need to translate so many book for two reasons. First there weren’t so many books published at that time anyway. Second the vast majority of book were published in Arabic at that time anyway and the it was the Wes which was failing to translate all that. Anyway, let’s not go back to that period. Many Muslims at this age are in a bad shape and situation because they are away from their religion and they are to blame for that not their religion.

      Before I go further into that I need to say that your long tangent is besides the point. You cannot go like “They do not read enough books, their countries are governed by military dictators, they are barbarian. Therefore it’s OK to kill them.”

      This page is about the death of a woman, a mother, aloved wife and a human being above all. You cannot sum it up by saying o n e woman. People are not numbers.

  62. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Dear Muslim in Europe and dear Ahmed,

    you complain about the murder of o n e woman in Germany by a criminal, but what do you think about the murder of many copts in Egypt only because they are Christian?

    I found this on a copt Website:

    Some of the Arab media claimed that the German man was Jewish to demonstrate that the hate is coming from Jews (and connecting this to the Palestinians in Gaza to be the victims of Jews.). Other media outlets indicated that he is a Christian to allow them to find a justification of murdering Christians in the Muslim world and bring more oppression which occurs to Copts in Egypt ….

    After this incident many Muslims in Germany protested carrying signs asking “What was her sin to be killed?” They have every right to ask this question — as I ask the same — what were the sins of the Jews, Christians and others who are persecuted due to being non-Muslims? WHY ARE YOU MURDERING MY PEOPLE?! Let’s look at the slaughter:
    · Thousands of innocent (Americans and Non-Americans in the tragedy of September 11, 2001;
    · Thousands in bombings of trains, subways, discos, pizzerias, etc. in Spain , England , Malaysia , Indonesia, and many other countries;
    · Children in Breslan, Russia, Mumbai, India;
    · Jews because they are Jews;
    · Copts of Egypt that suffered in over 1,400 years of occupation. Thousands upon thousands in last few years:

    What was the sin of 83 Copts killed and burned alive in “Zawia Al Hamra ” Cairo “?
    What was the sin of 23 Copts killed and burned alive in “Kosheh in Upper Egypt?
    To the Political Correctness world, the answer is very simple, those are not Muslims, so who cares. The man who killed that Muslim lady is sitting in jail waiting to be judged. How many murderers of non-Muslims were judged or are in jail? The answer is NONE.…
    Interesting how we never see or hear any high ranking Egyptian official make any comment when a Copt is killed in Egypt or when an attack occurs against civilians who are not Muslims in any part of the planet. This Egyptian woman was an average person within the country. At her funeral only the presence of Mubarak and his first Minister was missed. In fact three ministers, high ranking police and military officers, and six thousand people were present for the funeral.

  63. سامح العروسي Says:

    رحم الله الفقيدة

  64. ganjali Says:

    i don,t know what is the right or who is the right but i think

    that is the mass media duty to inform everybody not to

    prevent people from telling the stories in political matter

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