The Islamic Cultural Center “Marwa El-Sherbini” in Dresden has been targeted by anti-Muhammad graffitis. According to a chronic, which has been collected by press releases of the police and media reports, Dresden has witnessed a growing numbers of violent xenophobic attacks against refugees, immigrants and Islamic facilities. The right-wing anti-Islam movement, patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of Europe (PEGIDA) has initiated its marches in Dresden. Several branches have adopted the principal of PEGIDA in further German cities but were less successful in mobilizing adherents.
The Islamic Cultural Center Marwa El-Sherbini has been named after the Muslim woman with Egyptian origins. In 2009, the pregnant woman was stabbed to death by the accused at court process. His motive was recorded to be xenophobic.
Jürgen Martens (Minister of Justice) and Helma Orosz (Mayor of the city of Dresden) remembered the quinquennial of the murder of Marwa El-Sherbini; who was tragically killed by a White racist in 2009. Martens said that the terrible act should be a reminder to all of us to work against the presence of xenophobia. Aiman A. Mazyek, Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, criticized the lack of awareness and sensibility in regard to issues of racism and xenophobia.
Marking the 5th anniversary of the murder of Marwa El-Sherbini, the Central Council of Muslims in Germany declared 1st July 2014 as the nationwide “Day against Anti-Muslim Racism”. Aiman A. Mazyek, Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, will participate at the commemoration ceremony of the murdered Muslim woman Marwa El-Sherbini on the upcoming 1st July.
The council for Muslims participated at the commemoration ceremony for the Egyptian Marwa El-Sherbini, who was murdered four years ago in the court of the city of Dresden. The pregnant woman was murdered in front of her husband and her son. The murder had planned the action and was motivated by his hatred against Muslims. The court sentenced him to lifelong imprisonment.
Aiman Mazyek, head of the council for Muslims is also the speaker of the coordination council of Muslims in Germany. He described El-Sherbini as an idol for civil courage, who has paid with her life for the freedom of religion and tolerance.
Several politicians and local residents participated in a commemoration service for Marwa El-Sherbini, a 32-year-old Egyptian woman who was killed in a court in Dresden two years ago. El-Sherbini, who was a witness in a criminal case, was stabbed by the defendant, against whom she had testified, during an appeal hearing. During the commemoration service, the Central Council of Muslims in Germany described the murder as the “tip of the iceberg” and warned not to under-estimate Islamophobic tendencies in Germany.
Officials including Saxon Justice Minister Jürgen Martens honoured the memory of 31-year-old Marwa El-Sherbini, dubbed the “veil martyr,” with a plaque to serve as a warning against racism. “One year ago all of us were forced to realise the deadly logic of the hatred of foreigners,” said Martens, adding that the murder had shaken “Dresden, Germany and the entire world.” He promised not to stop fighting this misanthropic attitude. Members of the local Muslim community took part in the ceremony and a commemorative march was held later in the day.
A commemorative plaque was unveiled in the foyer of the regional court where the murder took place. The plaque’s inscription, written in both German and Arabic, read that the Egyptian has fallen victim to islamophobia and xenophobia, which she had fought with dignity and exemplary moral courage. “We bow to the victim of this dreadful and incomprehensible deed and join her family in grieving for her”, it reads.
Christian Demuth, of a local association for civil courage, and artist Johannes Köhler placed a sculpture in front of the court. It is a large knife of 1.50m made of concrete and is supposed to remind the citizens of Dresden of the everyday racism in the city. The association will set up 18 similar sculptures to the end of July, standing for “the small and big stabs that people in Dresden have to endure every day because of masked or open racism”, Demuth says.
The Austrian publisher Studienverlag has published a yearbook of research on Islamophobia in the German-speaking countries (Jahrbuch für Islamophobieforschung 2010: Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz). It is an introduction to the academic use of the term “Islamophobia” and includes recent empirical examples such as the courtroom murder of Egyptian Marwa El-Sherbini or the Swiss minaret ban. Further case studies derive from the fields of media, politics, law, discrimination in everyday life and theoretic reflections.