This explores a sad case in Dresden, Germany, a physically beautiful and culturally rich city that has been rocked by the stabbing death of Marwa al-Sherbini, a pregnant Egyptian pharmacist who was killed (stabbed 18 times) in a courtroom (in front of her 3-year-old son) by a man who was appealing a fine he’d been charged when he insulted her.
Earlier, the man — identified only as Alex W. — had called Sherbini an Islamist, a terrorist, and a slut on a local playground when she’d asked him to make room for her son. The man also stabbed Sherbini’s husband, who’d come to her aid, and later the police shot her husband, Elwi Okaz, because they thought he was the attacker.
The New York Times story contains this:
Germany is now a bastion of democracy in the heart of Europe. But the far right is on the rise across the Continent, and xenophobia is gaining in this country, not least among youth and not least singling out Muslims. A recent two-year government survey of 20,000 German teenagers classified one in seven as “highly xenophobic” and another 26.2 percent as “fairly xenophobic.”
I post this here because there is a huge element of the protests at town meetings that smack of xenophobia. And racism. There’s much talk — at least, if you’re reading the signs, there is — about immigrants, and it’s unlearned talk to say the least. The sad tragedy of Sherbini’s murder is not that far a leap from the shouting and shoving going on here — or, rather, it’s not impossible to see the correlation and every time I’m reminded that we’ve got so far to go on this, I get a little sad.