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  • Technorati: graph / links

    “German courtroom killer gets life”


    by guest on 12th November, 2009 at 4:30 PM    

    guest post by regular reader Halima

    This is the BBC headline on the story that shocked me this morning.

    It was apparently Muslims who were outraged about the murder in a German court of Marwa Sherbini, a pregnant Egyptian woman. It was apparently Muslims who were outraged that Ms Sherbini’s husband was shot by the police while trying to defend his wife from the knife-wielding attacker.

    I am outraged that such a murder could take place in a courtroom, with police present, and that the attacker was only apprehended 16 knife stabs later. This was not a shooting, which could happen before the police could react – clearly the husband did react, but the police shot him after mistaking him for the attacker.

    What has happened to the public mindset? Have we reached a stage where the murder of this woman doesn’t press the same humane instincts, and where only Muslims are outraged by this violence?


         
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    Filed in: Current affairs, Media, Religion






    25 Comments below   |   Add your own

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Murder most foul «

      [...] Concern has been voiced across the board regarding the origin and horrific nature of this tragedy. [...]



    1. RedSeaPedestrian — on 12th November, 2009 at 7:46 AM  

      Sorry Halima, I normally agree with your comments; but not this time. I'm not sure where this paragraph is coming from:

      “What has happened to the public mindset? Have we reached a stage where the murder of this woman doesn't press the same humane instincts, and where only Muslims are outraged by this violence?”

      Where is the evidence that it is only Muslims who were outraged? Just about every comment that I have read on this tragedy has expressed nothing but sadness and shock that such a senseless attack could occur even inside a courtroom.

      In fact, the BBC article that you link to states that 200 people staged an anti racism demonstration outside of the court. I am sure that you are not suggesting that all 200 were Muslims.

    2. Ravi Naik — on 12th November, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

      Halima,

      Do you feel outraged every time someone is murdered? What makes this story more special to you than the stories you read every day that prompted you to write this post?

    3. damon — on 12th November, 2009 at 8:30 AM  

      I'm like the last poster above (RedSeaPedestrian). I can't really see your point Halima.
      I haven't followed this case in any detail like I'm sure it has been discussed in the German media (as I don't understand the language) but the idea that most Germans weren't appalled by it also, I find a bit hard to believe. Why wouldn't they be?

      What you say of the police shooting her husband in the leg sounds like a bit of a red herring. Of course it was a mistake - they shot the wrong bloke.
      But I have to disagree with the idea of ''how could he smuggle a kinfe in to court and then stab her sixteen times before he was overpowered'' implying there was somehow some complicity or lack of care and reaction because she was a muslim.
      To be honest, I'd expect to find such a post like this on the MPACUK forums.

    4. Halima — on 12th November, 2009 at 8:42 AM  

      Red Sea Pedestrian

      Thanks for your comments .. I am going by what I am heard on the BBC World Service news service , it's the only English language news source I have as I live abroad and I can honestly say the reports concentrated on Muslim reactions. I am reassured to hear there was universal condemnation in the UK - if that is the case, and I'd like to be proven wrong on this one. I googled up the CNN script on this story:

      “Anger in the Arab world was fanned by what was seen as the muted German reaction soon after the incident. The country's media reported on the murder but did not touch upon the racist aspect of the killing, and Egyptians deemed the response as a sign of Islamophobia.

      Hundreds attended Sherbini's funeral in her hometown of Alexandria, Egypt, and Muslims also angrily protested in Berlin, Germany.”

      Ravi

      Thanks,

      I was prompted to react and post because it's quite unusual to hear about a murder being committed in a court of law, that someone can smuggle in a 7 inch knife during the appeal without being detected, and the motivation to be racial and for the police to commit another blunder. A court room would be a secure environment? How does anyone smuggle in a knife and stab 16 times before being apprehended? Courts are usually the places where we expect to see the legal process being served to protect us from risks to our physical safety - a fundamental right. It is quite fantastic to my mind that this racially motivated murder took place in a court of law. Perhaps I am naive but I was particularly shocked by this.

    5. Refresh — on 12th November, 2009 at 8:45 AM  

      It sounded as if the court hearing at which this murder took place was deserted except for the judge, perpetrator, Marwa Sherbini and her husband. As security wasn't expected to be an issue.

      It was the judge who ran out looking for a policeman, and by the time help arrived Marwa Sherbini lay dying in her husband's arms. The policeman mistook the husband to be the attacker and shot him in the leg.

      Halima is correct to express concern about the public's mindset. There was little if any reported outrage expressed at the time; not on it happening in a court of justice and not on the racist nature of the crime.

      There is a lot to be concerned about.

    6. douglas clark — on 12th November, 2009 at 9:46 AM  

      Dunno how good this source is:

      http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/res...

      but it does suggest that German justice, if not German public opinion, has rehabilitated itself somewhat.

      No/

    7. Refresh — on 12th November, 2009 at 10:14 AM  

      Douglas, thanks for the link. Some excellent observations made in the article.

    8. Shamit — on 12th November, 2009 at 10:26 AM  

      There was no widespread condemnation - if it was it was mostly out of Germany. Global Voices Online, Canadian Newspapers and of course Al Jazeera and and of course BBC were the primary outlets that actually followed the story including the funeral.

      The reaction from Dresden's Deputy Mayor Hilbert was pathetic to say the least. And no apology came from the German Government for its failure to keep courhouses safe. What the fuck?

      Do not forget this is Saxony we are talking about where NPD (which is the fucking BNP of Germany) is very strong.

      We do keep track of all major newspapers, blogs and stories coming out in europe that has anything to do with Government and or civil society and we haven't seen much on this coming out of Germany except for typical statement releases about their sympathy. And the ludicrous statements made by the city administration.

      What we did notice though was that a similar incident happend in a Geman courthouse in April 2009 when a man shot his sister- in - law after an inheritance ruling before turning the gun on himself. That happened in Bavaria

      The security of German courts is crap which both these incidents show. The German judiciary on the other hand have been very vocal and have been calling for more security and indirectly squarely puts the blame on both the Central and the provincial government. And the political media discourse about islamophobia is to be blamed — something which has been on the rise especially in Saxony.

      So when Sunny writes on another post about the BNP and thug attack on international students in London — its very similar.

      I am with Halima on this one — there was a fucking lack of outrage and lack of introspection on part of the german authorities. Apologise — for a state that says holocaust denial is crime it is sad the way Islam and Muslims are portrayed in the media and in political discourse. In February 2009, NDP had a 6,000 member march through the streets of Dresden — not much was written about or talked about in mainstream german media.

      This is just one of the many reasons that I am against the EU. While Britain is very much multicultural and mostly non racist, I cannot say the same about mainland Europe at all. And recently a citizen survey accross the EU showed that 1 out of 6 Europeans face discrimination.

      Saying all that, i have no love for the Muslim groups who only jump up and down when a muslim is attacked or do not say a word when Imams go to press conferences and try to character assasinate teenage girls who have been so called “honour killed”. To me they are as bad as the BNP and the respect party in the UK.

    9. Reza — on 12th November, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

      “Thousands attended her funeral in Egypt, some chanting “Death to Germany”, and there were also mass protests in Iran.”

      Says a lot about the Muslim mindset, doesn't it?

      A crazed lunatic kills one Muslim woman and thousands of miles away people chant “Death to Germany”.

      Imagine if European peoples took to the streets and shouted “Death to (insert Muslim majority country here) whenever one of their citizens or ex-pats was murdered, taken hostage or beheaded in a Muslim majority country.

      The scary thing is that a proportion of those people in Iran and Egypt chanting their hatred would like nothing more than to emigrate to Germany.

      Where they could hate it closer up.

    10. marvin — on 12th November, 2009 at 11:01 AM  

      Everyone was appalled by this terrible crime.

      The unsaid accusation is that nobody cares because it's a Muslim. Which is, with the greatest respect dear, bollocks.

      She was a mother to be and it's an horrendous attack for one human to do to another.

      Reza, whilst as being abrasive and as usual and unfair stereotyping of a monolithic 'Muslim mindset', does make some food for thought when he questions the nature of the reaction in the Middle East - “Death to Germany”. And his point that Europeans don't start shouting death to Pakistan when we have Pakistani suicide bombers….

      Halima, you're seeing prejudice and antipathy where it's not an issue. Very, very, very, few people, even non-Muslims, would not care or cheer that a pregnant woman, even a Muslim, was stabbed to death in this way by this psychopath.

      Your incredulity also seem to be hinting that this crime was allowed to happen, and there is absolutely no evidence that this the case. Incredible and tragic incompetence it does seem however.

    11. Refresh — on 12th November, 2009 at 11:24 AM  

      That phrase, 'even a muslim', appears to be a bit of a give away Marvin.

    12. Ravi Naik — on 12th November, 2009 at 11:41 AM  

      I was prompted to react and post because it's quite unusual to hear about a murder being committed in a court of law, that someone can smuggle in a 7 inch knife during the appeal without being detected

      But would you have been outraged and written this post if the victim was a white German man? Clearly you would have thought that it is a tragedy that someone would die in a court. But would you have been outraged as you are with this story? Would people in Iran and Egypt make demonstrations against Germany? No, they wouldn't. And no one would question your human instincts.

      Halima, it is natural that some stories affect us more than other stories, it does not mean that people think it is not wrong, or very wrong. There is so much misery in the world, and people cannot be consumed by every event. Sounds selfish, but that's the reality. So, I can live with the fact that a lot of whites are not outraged as Asians are, when Nick Griffin trashes immigrants and non-whites.

      In the US, we had this story about a Muslim who killed indiscriminately inside an Army base. Like this story, you have a deranged individual who killed, and left families without their loved ones. A lot of outrage from the usual suspects went against Muslims, and now you have demonstrations in Muslim countries accusing Germans of being racists and Islamophobes.

      It is really depressing that people find scapegoats for the actions of deranged individuals.

    13. Reza — on 12th November, 2009 at 11:52 AM  

      Ravi

      “In the US, we had this story about a Muslim who killed indiscriminately inside an Army base. Like this story, you have a deranged individual who killed, and left families without their loved ones. A lot of outrage from the usual suspects went against Muslims…”

      Really? I wasn't aware of anti-Muslim demonstrations or public outpourings of anger in the US or anywhere else in response to this.

      These were both despicable crime committed by a deranged individuals.

      Yet why am I the only one who is outraged to learn that thousands of mile away in Egypt, people chanted “Death to Germany”.

      It's despicable.

    14. douglas clark — on 12th November, 2009 at 3:32 PM  

      Refresh,

      You take exception to Marvins'

      even a Muslim

      and I take exception to his

      Very, very, very, few people, even non-Muslims, would not care or cheer that a pregnant woman, even a Muslim, was stabbed to death in this way by this psychopath. My highlighting.

      We are surrounded by deep shit if both you and I think that this is deliberately divisive. For, much as I like you as a person, I think you'd agree we are pretty far apart politically.

      To be completely honest I largely missed this until you pointed it out.

      Marvin, are you some sort of perfect being, floating above the rest of us?

    15. douglas clark — on 12th November, 2009 at 3:42 PM  

      I'll try again.

      Refresh up above. You said about Marvins' post:

      That phrase, 'even a muslim', appears to be a bit of a give away Marvin.

      And you know what I thought?

      I thought this, from the very same post:

      Very, very, very, few people, even non-Muslims, would not care or cheer that a pregnant woman, even a Muslim, was stabbed to death in this way by this psychopath.

      (My highlighting)

      Was a petty little example of assumed superiority of one particular faith over another.

      Just saying…

      ————————————————

      To be honest, I read this case at the time it happened and I was disgusted with the guy. Is that not enough?

    16. douglas clark — on 12th November, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

      I used to be able to format my posts OK on here. The ^ is a complete disaster. And it is my second attempt.

      I was using the old rules, what's the new rules?

    17. raymondterrific — on 12th November, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

      mmm…

      maybe we would be better pushing for women to be treated equally in Muslim courts, not to be treated as second-class citizens and not to be executed on the word of a man. And they might want to think about treating gay people too and not executing them while I'm on a roll.

      I've had it with religious loons and their quaint belief systems, making the planet worse for the rest of us. It's 2009. Get with Darwin and evolve.

    18. falcao — on 12th November, 2009 at 5:47 PM  

      The violent death of this woman was made even worse that is happened in a Court of Law! Unfortunately because entire muslim community has been made public enemy no 1 by right wing organisations and some political figures its no surprise that the reaction to this most violent of deaths was pathetic to say the least!

      If a muslim man stabbed a white woman in a court of law while calling her a secular b**tch or racist whatever you know the media and government would be having a field day calling the islamic religion barbaric, evil, and the rest of the garbage slanders we hear daily!

    19. douglas clark — on 12th November, 2009 at 11:06 PM  

      falcao,

      It is a human tragedy, not just a cheap political point.

    20. Halima — on 12th November, 2009 at 11:50 PM  

      Refresh, Douglas and Shamit,

      Thanks for your perspectives. It's very interesting to hear you reactions, and especially Shamit's account of the media in Germany, I must confess I have a tendency to have a more emotive reaction to such violence - and the world around me, and it's good to be challenged and think through issues differently.

      “lack of outrage and lack of introspection on part of the German authorities. Apologise — for a state that says holocaust denial is crime it is sad the way Islam and Muslims are portrayed in the media and in political discourse” These are exactly my sentiments - though you say it better.

      It's not the individual's actions people are upset about, it's the muted reaction and the delays, and for folks to suggest we are scape goating is disingenuous. I like to based all my challenges on grounds of humanity.

      “But would you have been outraged and written this post if the victim was a white German man? “

      Ravi - yes, I would be outraged, and more so if the crime was racially motivated. Random violence is bad enough but for it to be racially motivated adds another dimension. Whether that additional dimension bothers you or not depends on your responses to race-based violence, slurs and discrimination. I have quite a low toleration for race-based, violence and hatred and in particular in public places - where luckily the law agrees with me.

      “So, I can live with the fact that a lot of whites are not outraged as Asians are, when Nick Griffin trashes immigrants and non-whites, even though they are not racist and would never vote BNP.” Fair point. I personally have a lot of anxiety about such things, they remind me to often of evenings when i was younger when petrol bombs were hurled through the letter box in our neighbourhood. Judging by the panorama programme I saw about the two undercover Asian journalists who moved into Bristol, I don't think it's just my memories of the past that are at stake here. http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/ne...

      “To be honest, I'd expect to find such a post like this on the MPACUK forums.”

      You need to question why you associate my perspective with the MPAUK forum, I am not suggesting conspiracy but I am not willing to excuse the nature and blunder of police action.

      But all together the comments have been stimulating - thanks everyone.

    21. persephone — on 13th November, 2009 at 1:41 AM  

      Things do need to change as to female equality. I noticed the following news on the link below as part of that change starting to happen:

      http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-god-blog/...

      Note to PP: can you consider this news being a post in its own right?

    22. platinum786 — on 13th November, 2009 at 4:46 AM  

      Muslim mindset? 3000 people died at 911, how many have Americans killed to satisfy their bloodlust since then? The biggest irony is that all the attackers were Saudi's and Eygptians, two states headed by pro-US stooges who where not attacked.

      Not that you'd see that of course.

    23. marvin — on 13th November, 2009 at 10:28 AM  

      That phrase, 'even a muslim', appears to be a bit of a give away Marvin.

      “Even a Muslim” is said in a mocking tone Refresh. People like you think the general public are simply racist and hate Muslims. Despite all the evidence that this country is one of the most tolerant in the world. Even Daily Mail readers were appalled by this attack. See, a gentle mocking there. As we all know Daily Mail readers are the scum of the earth nazis. Innit.

    24. Fojee Punjabi — on 13th November, 2009 at 10:49 AM  

      marvin:

      You won't get through to these people: they accuse those who don't agree with their viewpoint of being narrow-minded and then accuse others of being radical, right-wing nuts.

      They seemingly haven't heard of the theory that political stance is, in fact, measured on a circular spectrum and that they stand right next to the very people they think they disagree with… bunch of Simple Simon ass mofos.



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