1,500 mourn stabbed Egyptian woman

Around 1,500 people gathered in Dresden on Saturday to mourn the death of a pregnant Egyptian woman who was stabbed to death in a courtroom by a man who had called her a terrorist for wearing a headscarf.

1,500 mourn stabbed Egyptian woman
Photo: DPA

Marwa Al-Sherbini, 31, was knifed at least 18 times, while her husband Elwi Ali Okaz was also injured while trying to protect her. Police officers who thought he was the attacker shot him in the leg and he remains hospitalised while their three-year-old son is being cared for by relatives.

Her killing, and the lukewarm reaction to it in Germany, sparked outrage among the German-Muslim community, in Egypt and beyond.

Al-Sherbini had been in court to testify against a 28-year-old Russian-German man who was appealing a fine for calling her an Islamist and terrorist for wearing a headscarf during an argument at a children’s playground.

Thousands of mourners attended her funeral in Alexandria, Egypt on Monday, and many are taking her death as an illustration of latent racism or anti-Islamism in Europe, asking what the reaction would have been in Germany had she been Jewish.

Egyptian President even raised the subject with Chancellor Angela Merkel during the G8 summit in Italy last week, asking her to ensure the killer was brought to justice.

A number of regional politicians attended the commemoration in Dresden on Saturday, while Franz Müntefering, head of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), was also there, calling for more political action against racism while warning against instrumentalising Al-Sherbini’s death.

Those present laid flowers in front of a large picture of the dead woman while Aiman Mazyek, secretary general of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany said Al-Sherbini’s murder marked a new dimension in violent Islamophobia and called for a strong but peaceful reaction.

Elsayed Ramzy Ezzeldin, the Egyptian ambassador to Germany, also attended.

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Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

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In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners