Wednesday, 18 November 2009

the Marwa Al-Sherbini story - what's wrong with this picture?

those of you who have been hiding under a rock lately, may not have heard the story of Marwa al-Sherbini, the so called hijab martyr.

it goes something like this: a 30 something egyptian woman is insulted in a park in germany by a russian born german who calls her an islamist terrorist. she calls the policeand he is arrested. at the man's subsequent trial he goes berzerk and stabs her to death in the courtroom. the woman's husband is accidentally shot in the melee by a security guard who thinks he is the perpetrator but he later recovers.

news of these events engenders disgust and horror everywhere but in the arab/muslim world it also also triggers protests and anti german sentiment. Ahmedinejad decries german brutality and in egypt demands are made that the german government do something to fight hate crimes and counteract racist sentiments. the cries of protest heard in egypt and elsewhere are surely justified. european racism rearing its ugly head, innocents murdered. when the man is sentenced, he receives the maximum sentence under german law and everybody declares that justice has been done but what is wrong with this picture?

in egypt (as in much of the arab world) women are murdered without so much as a murmur of protest - commonly by their own husbands/family and racial hatred/xenophobia is the standard stock in trade of many politicians and public figures. in fact incitement to racial/ethnic hatred is commonly taught in schools and often used to gain political capital. if you are christian or jewish in these countries then you can expect to suffer government sanctioned and sponsored persecution as part of daily life.

why are all the voices that protested the Al-Sherbini case so silent now?