In a January 5, 2015, article in the Saudi daily 'Okaz, journalist Turki Al-Dakhil condemned the abuse of animals, comparing the culture of animal cruelty to that of the Islamic State (ISIS) and calling on Saudi authorities to pass laws to deter people from harming nature and animals.
Al-Dakhil, who wrote the article in response to a shocking video in Saudi Arabia showing a young man deliberately running over and killing a dog, bemoaned the fact that Saudi society is not fighting this violent culture and warned that anyone who kills animals will end up killing people.
The following are excerpts from his article:
Turki Al-Dakhil (image: elaph.com)
"It is sickening to see a young man enjoy burning a fox, cutting off a cat's tail, torturing a donkey, slowly killing a horse – or the 'latest craze,' running over a dog, as in the [recent] regrettable incident that was harshly condemned, and which [resulted] in merciful people reporting the perpetrator's license plate and car model, leading to his arrest by security forces, which I hope leads to his prosecution.
"The Shura Council and legislative bodies should formulate a proper penal code setting out punishments for anyone abusing animals, cutting down trees, harming nature, or engaging in cruel hunting. These codes should be harsh and deterrent, in order to prevent such barbaric aggression. This culture of violence is embedded [in these young men], and they express it [through brutality] against animals. There is no difference between the culture of daes ['running over' in Arabic] against dogs and animals, and the culture of Daesh [ISIS], which slaughters people like sheep!
"This violent culture, which we are not fighting [although it is present] in our midst, is the basis of such acts, because anyone who kills animals ends up killing people. There is disregard for the lives of animals, and what we see in these videos is merely a fraction of the dozens of such incidents... And this criminal behavior is based on violence.
"A person's education and class are evident in his treatment of nature and animals. [Iraqi writer Muhammad] ibn Al-Marzuban (died in the Hijri year 309 [921 CE]) wrote an entire book titled The Superiority of Dogs over Many Who Wear Clothes, in which he wrote: 'Know that the dog fears for his owner more than a father fears for his son and a brother fears for his brother, since he protects his owner and defends all that is precious to him whether he is present or absent, asleep or awake, and does not neglect [his duty] even if he has not been given water, and does not abandon [his owners] even if they abandon him.'
"Some dogs are more humane than some people. Think about that!"
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