08/07/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Headscarf Martyr: Egyptian Cleric Calls For Severe Punishment In Response To Stabbing

Egypt's top cleric has called for severe punishment for the man who stabbed a pregnant Egyptian woman to death in a German courtroom, according to the National Post.

The National Post reports that Grand Imam Sheikh Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi branded the man, "a terrorist", saying he "should receive severe punishment for what he has done."

32-year-old Marwa al-Sherbini, who was three months pregnant with her second child, was in court to give evidence against her attacker for previously calling her a terrorist.

Her husband and 3-year-old son were also present in court and her husband was seriously injured while trying to defend her during the attack. He was also stabbed by Ms al-Sherbini's attacker and was accidentally shot by the German court's security guard.

Huffington Post blogger Firas Al-Atraqchi writes that the attack has "incensed the Muslim World" and questions the real tolerance of Europeans.

Muslims say the attitudes which prevailed in early 20th century European history and gave rise to the Holocaust are similar in nature to the climate of intimidation and violence Muslim communities must increasingly endure in contemporary Europe.

Today, Muslims in Europe are seen as existing outside of a democratic culture. A resurgence of social Darwinism as applied to libertarian theory--that democratic ideals are inherently superior to ideals of other cultures--has alienated Muslims and created a cultural backlash against them.

Marwa al-Sherbini's funeral was held on Monday in Alexandria, where mourners called her a "martyr of the head scarf."

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