Over the past (let’s say) 5 years, there’s been an alarmingly rising number of innocent murders committed in Kuwait. Sectarian fights. Bloody brawls. Revenge killings. Accidents. Mass murders. And, now, stabbings.
And yet after each “big” murder tragedy, we continue to do the same exact thing: We gape in horror and surprise, we angrily scream and shout, and, of course, we
pretend to wonder why. Every single time someone murders an innocent person (or even a whole group of people) everyone is just so freaking surprised again and again and again. We have the same discussion, the same arguments, and the same ‘juicy horror story’ rumor mill.
Same old, same old.
We say, ‘Oh! This is the culprit!‘ The ‘culprit’ is always one or more of the following scapegoats: Lack of security. Or western media. Or online, social networks. Or an unstable, broken family. Or godlessness. Or homosexuality. Or video games. Or ethnic ‘genetics.’ Or hormones. Or ‘defenseless’ women/children/minorities. Or mental disorders. Or medication. Or drugs. Or, really, anything on the freaking planet.
We get caught up in the hyper-theatrics of “the event” all while blissfully and conveniently avoiding the glaringly obvious. That being the reality of the fact that these kinds of heinous, murderous crimes are being committed against innocent people simply because many individuals in Kuwait think they can just do whatever the hell they want.
That’s right, you guys. To an overwhelming number of people in Kuwait, the law and the peace and perhaps even the sanctity of human life doesn’t mean jack if it stands in the way of them doing whatever the hell they want to do. This is the brutal truth.
Because Kuwait is not a land of poverty; nor a land of racial violence and unrest; nor a land of totalitarian crackdown.
Kuwait is a democratic, diverse, economically and socially fruitful land of plenty. There is literally no sociologically relevant reason for these kinds of law-flouting murders (or near-murders) to occur besides the fact that people just think they can blatantly do whatever the hell they want no matter what.
Like many of you, I can honestly say I spent the better part of this weekend pouring over a number of different ‘news stories’ surrounding the tragic murder of Dr. Jaber Yousef in The Avenues mall last Friday. And I’m pretty sure I did everything that you guys probably did: scrambled to piece together all the different bits of news information, tried to figure out the “why” of what happened, and, finally, attempted to come up with a way to effectively make sure this kind of thing has as small a chance as possible of happening again.
And, for whatever reason, I have to say this particular murder struck a different chord with me. I mean, let’s leave aside the fact that this was a young, bright, ambitious man who, like many people my age, held lots of promise and future potential. Let’s forget the fact that he was killed in an illustrious mall, filled with bustling eye witnesses at every corner, and which I personally happen to frequent quite often. Let’s forget the fact that he was murdered in cold blood over something that almost anyone with a car has fought over at some point in their lives: a freaking parking spot. Let’s forget all these personal albeit thin connections I (and many of you) may have with this murder case.
Because the one thing that really stuck out to me about the murder of Dr. Jaber Yousef is the fact that, through the immense social media coverage it recieved, you begin to realize just how unisolated this kind of case really is.
And its not just stabbings per se. It’s a woman setting a tented wedding party on fire (killing 57 and injuring 90). It’s camp attacks in the dead of the night. It’s police officers raping and killing racial minorities. Its people who think they own the road and, through their recklessness, inadvertently killing more people in accidents than organized crime.
Call it homicide; manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter; murder; whatever. At the end of the day its all needless, innocent death caused by individuals who, for the most part, thought they had the right and the privilege to act on what they personally wanted/felt regardless of anything else and for pretty much no substantial reason.
It’s as if people in Kuwait have gotten so used to reading these kinds of headlines with their morning breakfast omelet every few days that they can barely afford to muster up a bit of shock and awe before turning the page and forgetting all about ‘the event’ in a week or so.
But, hey, no point in overdoing it now, right? I mean, let’s be realistic here. A group of crazed guys ambushing and bloodily murdering another guy over something as petty and meaningless as a freaking parking spot–in a place as popular and crowded as The Avenues no less–is certainly not something you hear about every day. Right?
This has definitely happened before. It’s already happened again. A quick skimming of the comments section in this 248AM post will go to show just how prevalent and how likely it is to continue to happen.
And I’m not saying this as a way of discounting any of the other facets that may very well contribute to a person’s choice to kill someone, even if inadvertently. There is a good chance that western media and video games share a part in the way that these innocent souls were unfortunately lost.
I know there is no quick, easy, all-inclusive answer we’re all just waiting to implement here. I know that there has to be a root change in the way that people in Kuwait regard order, authority, and social responsibility. I don’t pretend to have an answer, nor a drawn out 5-year plan, nor any solid thoughts of how to rid Kuwait of this deadly pattern of national indifference towards crime.
I know this is making me sound like such a hopeless pessimist–and I’m not–but I think we all need to realize how quickly we forget the tendency Kuwait actually has for these kinds of mindlessly brutal tragedies.
I’m well aware of the fact that media glorified violence, bad parenting skills, horrible role models, and/or a hyper-masculinized social culture that is inspired by age-old notions of tribalism and sacred blood bonds has something to do with this. But the fact remains the same.
Every day in Kuwait people think they can override law and order and, in many cases, arrogantly (even if unintentionally) kill another human. We need to stop forgetting these deaths and please stop pretending like this kind of tragic incident is a unique case we can just blame on the Internet or security or video games.
Because the life and death of Dr. Jaber should count for more than that.
It should count as a constant reminder and as a lasting lesson of the fact that, if we forget and let our social responsibility falter once again, we’ve only got ourselves to blame.
All my love!