Egyptian veil martyr commemorated in Germany

1st July 2010, Comments 0 comments

A plaque commemorating a pregnant headscarved Egyptian woman whose murder in a German court shocked the Muslim world was unveiled Thursday in Dresden, in the east of the country.

The memorial should serve not only to commemorate the 31-year-old Marwa El-Sherbini, dubbed the "veil martyr", but also to serve as a warning against racism, said Juergen Martens, justice minister of the state of Saxony.

Members of the local Muslim community took part in the unveiling ceremony and were expected to take part in a commemorative march later in the day.

During a trial in July last year, 28-year-old Alex Wiens plunged an 18-centimetre (seven-inch) kitchen knife at least 16 times into Sherbini, three-months pregnant at the time with her second child.

Her son, Mustafa, three years old at the time, watched her bleed to death in the courtroom.

Sherbini's husband, Egyptian geneticist Elwy Okaz, rushed to her aid but was also stabbed repeatedly and then shot in the leg by a police officer who was unsure who was the attacker.

The Russian-born Wiens was acting out of revenge after she had pressed charges against him for calling him a "terrorist", "Islamist" and "whore" during a dispute over a playground swing.

He confessed to the crime during his trial, which resulted in a life sentence.

The killing, as well as the slow reaction of Germany's politicians and media, sparked outrage in Sherbini's home country, as well as in the wider Muslim world.

© 2010 AFP

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