by Tristana Moore
Dozens of reporters from Germany, Egypt and other Muslim countries packed into a Dresden courtroom last week to hear the verdict against the Russian émigré accused of stabbing to death a pregnant Egyptian woman who’s since been dubbed the “headscarf martyr” by much of the Arab world. It was a far cry from the attention the killing itself received in July — the crime was scarcely reported by the German media, leading to massive protests in Egypt and the Middle East.
That Alex Wiens was convicted of murdering Marwa el-Sherbini and sentenced to life in prison was not surprising — el-Sherbini was stabbed in front of numerous eyewitnesses in a dramatic attack just after she finished giving testimony in the same Dresden courthouse where Wiens was tried. His trial seemed a mere formality. It was nonetheless closely watched by Germany’s 4 million Muslims, as well as the wider Muslim world, as a way of gauging how serious Germany was about confronting what Muslims see as a rising tide of Islamophobia and racism in the country.