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CRIME

Muslims pray for murdered Egyptian woman

Muslims across Germany prayed on Friday for a pregnant Egyptian woman murdered in Dresden last week, a killing that provoked outrage and anti-German sentiment in her home country.

Muslims pray for murdered Egyptian woman
Egyptians carrying the victim's coffin in Alexandria this week. Photo: DPA

Marwa al-Sherbini was stabbed at least 18 times in a courtroom in Dresden on July 1 in front of her husband and three-year-old son by a Russian-born German man who has since been charged with her murder.

With Berlin under fire for a slow reaction to the killing, the German government’s integration tsar Maria Boehmer visited his bedside on Friday, a day ahead of a planned memorial ceremony outside Dresden city hall.

Dubbed the “veil murder” by Muslim groups, the killing drew thousands of mourners to her funeral on Monday in Alexandria, with Egypt’s top cleric declaring her a “martyr” and demanding the maximum penalty for the attacker.

The 31-year-old’s husband, geneticist Elwi Ali Okaz, is in a critical condition in hospital after also being stabbed by the assailant and shot in the leg by confused police who took him for the attacker.

Accompanied by Egypt’s ambassador to Germany and the president of the German-Arab Association, Boehmer said: “There is no place for racist or religious violence in Germany.”

“The German government sets great store by integration. We see variety as an opportunity … Germany is not anti-Islam,” she added.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, meanwhile, wrote a letter to his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Abul Gheit expressing his condolences to the woman’s family.

“We want to make sure that everyone in Germany feels safe, whatever their origin, their nationality or their religion. Racism and Islamaphobia have no place in Germany,” Steinmeier said.

The unemployed 28-year-old attacker, identified only as Alex W., was in court appealing against an earlier conviction and fine for calling Sherbini a “terrorist” for wearing the Islamic headscarf in a dispute in a playground.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with Egyptian President Hosni Muburak about the killing in L’Aquila, Italy, on Thursday where world leaders gathered for a Group of Eight meeting.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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