Sadism that lurks beneath

Sadism that lurks beneath

Sadism that lurks beneath
I was horrified by the image of the poor dog, printed in Arab News last Sunday, being run over by two Saudi young men, the little creature lifting its head and its eyes asking “why are you doing this?” The cruelty and sadism was extreme: To run the dog over repeatedly 10 times, while filming the whole thing with a cellphone was a sickening and repugnant act worthy of the worst psychopaths that like to torture their prey and watch them die a slow and agonizing death.
Thankfully the two culprits were stupid enough not to cover up the license plate of their vehicle used in the dastardly deed, and when they proudly shared the video of their wretched deed online through social media, the police were able to track them down relatively easily. They have now been convicted of brutally torturing and killing the dog and could face up to five years in jail or a fine of SR500,000, which is in line with a Saudi law and the unified code of merciful treatment of animals adopted by all Gulf countries, according to Jabir Al-Shehri of the Ministry of Agriculture.
I think they should get both the jail term and the fine. What they did is inexcusable. It is basic human decency not to torture and kill domesticated animals that are not a threat to us and do us no harm. And according to several Hadiths, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that God rewards acts of charity to animals: “Yes, there is a reward for acts of charity to every beast alive.” (Narrated by Abu Huraira, Bukhari, 3:322)
I think the judge in this case should also question the parents of these young men and ask how they brought up such little monsters. I’m not saying that the parents bear all of the blame, far from it, but absent parents are often to blame for producing spoiled and maladjusted children who grow up with warped minds and attitudes.
Unfortunately, as one reader rightly pointed out, we often see young Saudi boys kicking and throwing stones at stray cats and dogs in the streets of our cities, and for the most part nobody says anything to them. Some think it’s funny and cute, while others just shrug it off as boys being boys.
The problem is that the majority will outgrow this violent and nasty behavior soon enough, while a minority will not, growing up and graduating to hitting their maids and eventually their wives. Sadly that is what happens when a tough stance is not taken from an early stage against violence directed at innocent and defenseless beings. The dog being run over was helpless and no match to the SUV that must have weighed at least two tons!
In fact, the whole topic of violence against weaker beings should be tackled in the Saudi school curriculum and include sections on animal cruelty, violence against maids and domestic violence directed at elderly parents and wives.
This has been a taboo subject for too long in Saudi society, but with so much frustration and resentment bubbling below the surface in our society because of economic worries, we cannot allow these fears to be expressed in violence against anyone, and especially not defenseless dogs, children and women. Violence is never an acceptable way of venting our anger and frustrations. We are better than psychopaths and need to talk about this as a nation before things can improve.

The writer is a Saudi journalist based in Brazil.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point of view