Dresden hopes to honour murdered ‘veiled martyr’

Dresden hopes to honour murdered ‘veiled martyr’
Photo: DPA
The German city of Dresden is mulling ways to honour a pregnant Egyptian woman stabbed to death in a courtroom in the city, a killing which has sparked anger in the Muslim world, a spokesman said Tuesday.

“A meeting with town representatives and the Central Council of Muslims is set to take place next week to decide how we can honour her,” Kai Schulz told AFP, adding discussions would also take place with the woman’s family.

Dresden’s foreign residents affairs officer Marita Schieferdecker-Adolph said: “We are thinking of naming one of the city’s streets after her, but the last time we wanted to do that, it took 16 years.”

The July 1 killing of Marwa al-Sherbini, 31, stabbed at least 18 times in front of her three-year-old son and her husband, allegedly by a Russian-born German man identified only as Alex W., has provoked outrage in Germany and abroad.

It has also fuelled anti-German sentiment in Islamic countries, notably Iran and Sherbini’s native Egypt, where she has been dubbed the “veil martyr” as she was wearing a headscarf when she was attacked for apparently racist motives.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed the German government for the act, and on the streets, as many as 150 Iranian Islamist students pelted eggs at the German embassy in Tehran chanting “Death to Germany! Death to Europe!”

In Egypt, small demonstrations were held outside the German embassy in Cairo, with protestors accusing the West of Islamophobia and the country’s top cleric declaring her a “martyr” while calling for the maximum penalty for the attacker.

After an initially slow response to the killing, the German government has moved to deflect criticism, with Chancellor Angela Merkel expressing her condolences to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

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