Wednesday, March 22, 2023 | Sha'ban 29, 1444 H
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Crimes and criminals

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The recent incidences that involved the killing of two women in Oman in daylight caused shock to the whole community. Not only because the perpetrator was in a close relationship with the victim but because it occurred in brutal ways and in public places. The reactions of readers in social media were strong asking the obvious questions, what is going on?

We used to read and hear about similar incidents taking place in other countries like the university student in Egypt who stabbed to death his classmate who – according to the media – rejected his marriage offer. We read it and wonder, How can someone switch his feelings from love and wanting to have a family with the young woman to taking her life? Now we find ourselves asking the same questions.

In most societies, murder is considered the most serious crime that calls for serious punishment. It is a very complex behavior that is often caused by multiple social, psychological and sometimes political factors. Psychologist have been studying murder for years and there is a special branch of psychology dedicated to studying criminal minds. Books depicting crimes are among the best sellers and movies and television series portraying murderers are popular among viewers. A good example is a recent Netflix series about Jeffrey Dahmer an American serial killer who murdered seventeen young men and ate some of their body parts was a very popular show.

Most people associate murder with mental illness although scientific research suggests that over 80% of killings are done by people who have no mental illness.

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Strong emotions such as anger, love, hate, jealousy and frustration are often linked to a particular event and a close relationship usually precedes the killing. This is why we find victims are usually family members, friends, or even business partners. In some countries, the use of drugs and alcohol is associated with murder as it caused the person to make poor judgment and act with out thinking of the consequences of his or her actions. The recent events caused several reaction in the social media with some readers attributing the killing as a violence against women driven by old social beliefs, although women are some times involved in killing others and the victim is often a husband or some times their own children because of revenge and other factors. This shows that murder is not limited to a particular gender and jumping to assumptions can blind us from addressing the real problems. Another viewpoint toward the media is that watching a movie about killing may trigger some people (who often have other factors) to commit a crime. This is often seen after a suicide incident in described in the media especial when details were published encouraging others who usually thought of suicide before going a head and doing it. This is why there is a call for the media to avoid glorifying events such as suicide or the killing of another person to avoid tempting people who are vulnerable to commit such crimes.

Finally, a recent report from the office of public persecution in Oman showed that nine killings took place in Oman over the last year. Let’s all work together and understand what is really going on and what we can do to fix it.

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