The business of blood money

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The business of blood money

Okaz

WHAT happened at Al-Hamadaniya in Jeddah a couple of weeks ago was very sad. A man was stabbed to death in a street fight that driven by rage, arrogance and ignorance. It is sad because the incident terrified the residents of this beautiful city, which is full of life.

It would have never happened but for tribal culture that called for collecting the blood money to spare convicted murderers from execution. This is a dark culture that promotes mass begging at public gatherings and ceremonies. This culture mitigates the atrocious behavior of killers and criminals. Once the amount of blood money is collected, the killer emerges as a hero and his tribe victorious in front of rival tribes.

Before the Hamadaniya incident, many people had deplored the culture of collecting millions of riyals in blood money and then bragging about it. People videotape these ceremonies and celebrate it in a way that makes committing a crime and assaulting fellow human beings as if something commendable. In fact, this encourages teenagers and racist idiots to carry weapons with them and commit cold-blooded murders in the name of valor.

What happened at Hamadaniya should sound the alarm bell for us Saudis. This should be a starting point where we decide to socially deal with the culture of bragging about a crime, even by hiding behind the religion and in the name of saving lives.

Religion is innocent in regard to these gatherings, which are aimed at sparing the murderers and criminals from execution and setting them loose on the streets again, instead of giving them the punishment they deserve. I wish if the related authorities criminalized these gatherings and framed criminal charges against those who organize and respond to them. This way we can put an end to this disgusting phenomenon.

Most importantly, we should consider harsh prison terms for people who are spared from execution with the payment of blood money after they secure pardon from the heirs of their victims. The prison sentence in this case should be strong and swift so others will be deterred from committing similar crimes.

If the heirs of the victim agree to pardon the murderer and accept blood money, then he should be put in prison for at least 25 years in way of public right. This is legitimate action because such a move will benefit society as a whole.

I know some people may not like my suggestion, especially those who are in the business of collecting large amounts of money to save their relatives who happen to be murderers and street thugs. But I don’t care even if they are members of my own family or tribe. The interests of the country and society should have priority over the interests of the killers and their kin. It is not in our interest to allow these fanatics and racists to ride roughshod over everyone in the community. Our streets should not turn into wrestling rings for murderers and idiots who are proud of their tribal lineage.

Lastly, we send our condolences to the family of the victim who was killed in the Hamadaniya fight.


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