Resist Oppression Peacefully:

Terrorism, in Europe Remains unreported: An Egyptian Muslim lady [Marwa el-Sherbini], was brutally murdered in the court in Dresden, Germany few days back. This barbaric, horrible, outrageous incidence of “TERROR” was ignored by the media simply because she was a Muslim and wore a Hijab – barely found a mention in the European press and the US media saw no reason to create a fuss. The murder came shortly after French President Sarkozy gave his “secular” Verdict [edict- fatwa] against the burqa and it seems that now there is open season on Hijab-wearing Muslims in some parts of Europe – those parts that ironically see themselves as being more tolerant and “liberal”. There was a shameful silence on the part of all the “liberals” and human rights activists who are so ready to condemn the misdeeds of Muslim extremists anywhere in the world. Ironically, apart from the Central Council of Muslims’ leadership, it was the Central Council of Jews General Secretary, Stephan Kramer who decried the “inexplicably sparse” reaction of the media and German politicians. After all, the Jews of Europe know only too well that it begins with one incidence after another and, if one remains silent, the victimization becomes collective.

In fact European secular “liberalism” is being defined increasingly in terms of non-acceptance of the new multi-religious and multi-ethnic Europeans by the old white Christian Europeans. When European leaders display this characteristic in public statements, it gives leeway to the racist bigotry that still pervades in Europe – only now the Muslims have replaced the Jews as the bête noirs.[Remember, Muslims are not Jews, whom Europe could oppress for centuries, (Anti-Semitism, ghettos)].

In fact the case of Marwa el-Sherbini is frightening because her only “crime” was that she wore the hijab. A year before her murder, a 28 year old man of Russian origin had insulted her by calling her a “terrorist” and “Islamist whore” for wearing a hijab when she asked him to let her son sit on a swing. At the time the man had been found guilty of abusing and insulting Marwa and had been fined 780 Euros. But he had appealed which is why the parties were all present in a Dresden court room when the gruesome murder took place in full view of Marwa’s husband and her three-year old son Mustafa. As Marwa, pregnant, was in the dock recalling the incident, the accused walked across the courtroom and plunged a knife into her 18 times. What is even more horrific is that as her husband, Elvi Ali Okaz, ran to save her he, too, was brought down, shot by a police officer who declared that he mistook him for the attacker. Can anything be more ridiculous? Many serious issues arise:

(1) Why was a man known to be violently disposed towards Ms Marwa Sherbini allowed to walk into the courtroom with a lethal knife?

(2) How could the policeman have mistaken her husband for the attacker when he moved much later and separately – or was the attacker not taken into custody when he had begun his attacks?

(3) Why was he allowed to stab Marwa 18 times?

(4) Where was the same policeman and why did he not shoot at the accused when he was stabbing the lady?

Whichever way one looks at it, the acceptable racism cannot be denied – both at the official and unofficial levels. The German government’s only reaction was to sweep it all under the carpet.

Does that not make one wonder if Muslim women in hijab are now going to be targeted with impunity by extremists, racists and others of the lunatic fringe in Europe? Why has the EU leadership not condemned this act of religious hatred? Is Marwa el Sherbini going to be the first of many headscarf martyrs – as her native Egyptian media is calling her – of Europe, especially in the wake of the Sarkozy statement? It would be a pity if the grand tradition of French freedom and equality is reduced to a superficiality covering an underlying intolerance towards cultural and religious diversity.

Perhaps the most shameful has been the reaction of the Muslim World including Pakistan. Why have we seen no official condemnation when we see the EU leaders and their media waste no time in issuing condemnatory statements whenever any incident of a crime against women or religious minorities occurs in Pakistan? It is good that they seek to act as our conscience on these occasions, but there has to be reciprocity and we should not shy away from acting as their conscience when they lose their way or shy away from exposing such crimes!

[Extract from article by Dr.Shireen M Mazari, Email: , Courtesy: “The News” Wednesday, July 15, 2009,]

[P.S: Accepting oppression is a sin, resist oppression through peaceful means, raise your voice so that it is heard loud and clear, silence is  criminal. “And those who when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them (are not cowed but) help and defend themselves.”(Qur’an’;42:39)]

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