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Marka mother’s stabbing death shocks nation, prompts study on psychological, social factors

By Rana Husseini - Jul 28,2020 - Last updated at Jul 28,2020

AMMAN — The National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA) on Tuesday said that the concerned authorities are currently studying the case of a teenage boy who allegedly stabbed his mother to death in Amman on Monday.

The 14-year-old boy allegedly stabbed his 55-year-old mother 30 times with a kitchen knife following a “heated argument” while at their home in Marka neighbourhood.

"Monday's reported murder by the minor against his mother is one of the most horrific incidents within Jordanian families in the past few years," NCFA Secretary General Mohammad Miqdadi told The Jordan Times.

Miqdadi said that he followed up with government psychiatrists and physicians to determine "what would drive a child to commit such an alleged horrific murder against his mother".

"The relevant authorities are currently conducting a social study to determine if the boy suffered from any mental problems or whether he had consumed some sort of illegal narcotics that caused him to act in this violent manner," Miqdadi said.

Forensic experts at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine took blood and tissue samples from the teenager and sent it to the criminal lab for further analysis, according to Miqdadi. 

Solidarity Is Global Institute (SIGI) Executive Director Asma Khader stressed the need to examine the case of the boy from all social aspects.

"We need to examine the social surroundings of the boy to try to determine the reason why he committed his alleged murder," Khader told The Jordan Times.

At the same time, Khader maintained, "we need to shift our attention to social media users with some encouraging acts of violence within our society".

"We have noticed over the past week that many social media users are sympathising with perpetrators who are committing acts of violence such as the case of a woman who was killed by her father recently for reasons related to family honour," Khader said.

The SIGI executive director was referring to the case of a 40-year-old woman who was beaten to death with a brick allegedly by her father for reasons related to “family honour” in Ein Basha on July 19. 

The incident sparked nationwide outrage and prompted a group of young men and women to organise a protest in front of Parliament few days later to protest her murder.

However, some social media users justify the woman's murder "since her father murdered her for reasons related to family honour", while others attacked the organisers of the protest for some slogans raised during the event.  

"Obviously some social media users are shifting the sympathy of society towards accepting domestic violence and the killing of women and children," Khader stressed.

She added that social media needs to be used to "raise awareness of the right of life for all".

"We need to encourage, through social media, individuals who suffer from family disputes to resort to dialogue or the justice system rather than taking the law into their own hands," Khader added.

Meanwhile, SIGI issued a statement on Tuesday stating that 10 women have been reported killed in Jordan since the beginning of the year in family disputes, domestic violence or for reasons related to “family honour”.

"SIGI had constantly warned of the rise in domestic violence in Jordan since the law allows the beating of children to discipline them and that families are able to drop charges against the perpetrators when the crime is committed by a family member," the SIGI statement said.

The SIGI statement also referred to recent statistics by the Criminal Information Department that is affiliated to the Public Security Directorate, which stated that minors committed a total of 2,412 crimes in 2019, including nine homicides, 18 attempted murders and 16 suicide cases. 

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