Memorials to headscarf martyr attacked in Germany

Vandals have attacked an art project erected in honour of a pregnant headscarved Egyptian woman who was murdered by a racist German in a court room.

Memorials to headscarf martyr attacked in Germany

Vandals have attacked an art project erected in honour of a pregnant headscarved Egyptian woman who was murdered by a racist German in a court room, organisers said Friday.

Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in western Europe after France. Some groups in Germany said after the murder Islamophobia was rife and the German government was criticised for being slow to condemn the murder.

Marwa el-Sherbini, 31, was declared the "headscarf martyr" in some Islamic nations after a German racist stabbed her to death in July 2009 in a courtroom.

The "18 Stabs" installation, unveiled on the first anniversary of el-Sherbini's death on July 1, featured 18 knife-shaped concrete pillars erected throughout the city with signs condemning racism and xenophobic violence.

During a trial last July, a Russian-born defendant suddenly attacked Sherbini, plunging an 18-centimetre (seven-inch) kitchen knife at least 16 times into her while she was three-months pregnant with her second child. He was on trial for insulting her over her Islamic dress and appearance.

Her son, Mustafa, three years old at the time, watched her bleed to death at the courtroom.

Sherbini's husband, Egyptian geneticist Elwy Okaz, rushed to her aid but was also stabbed repeatedly and then shot in the leg by a police officer who was "unsure" who the attacker was.

"Warning against racism"

Buerger Courage, an anti-racist group, this month erected 18 small concrete pillars, shaped like upwards-pointed knife blades, at different places in the German city to make people think about the murdered young Egyptian mother.

"Citizen.Courage assumes this was a malicious, politically motivated attempt to destroy the project," group chairman Christian Demuth said in statement.

"To warn against everyday racism, we will not restore the destroyed installations. But we will continue the project."

A police spokeswoman said a third pillar was found smashed near the city rail terminal on Thursday night.

The civic group said that the damage to their art installation, which was entitled Achtzehn Stiche, was "malicious, deliberate, politically motivated destruction." They added that plaques on the pillars which denounced neo-Nazis had also been stolen.

Police said the inquiry was "still at an early stage."

The German killer is now serving a life sentence for the murder.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Temmuz 2010, 18:07

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