A German man who killed a pregnant Egyptian woman and injured her husband has been sentenced to life in prison by a court in Dresden. The case of Alex Wiens has shocked Germany and much of the Muslim world, particularly Egypt. It has prompted accusations in some quarters that Germany is tolerant of xenophonia and is anti-Islamic.
Wiens attacked the pair in court, where he had been brought to answer charges he had racially insulted the woman. Police then shot her husband, mistaking him for the attacker. Outside the court support groups, for whom Marwa el-Sherbiny has become a martyr, awaited the verdict. They expressed their disgust at how the case had been handled, and how the climate for immigrants in Germany is worsening with the rise in racially-motivated crimes. Germany has Europe’s second-largest Muslim community after France. Reaction in Cairo was swift. “A life sentence is equivalent to death, and this is a very just sentence, a very correct sentence that will satisfy all Muslim and Arab people. I think it’s a good ruling,” said one man. Crowds turned out in Dresden in July after the attack, which took place in front of the couple’s three year-old son, to condemn racist attacks of all kinds. Security for the trial has been ultra-tight.