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Three cases in four months – what is behind Egypt’s string of love-caused murders?

Just a few days had passed since the murder of the Mansoura student, Naira Ashraf when Egyptian society was shocked with the killing of Salma Bahgat at the hands of her friend in Sharqiya, Nile Delta, who brutally stabbed her to death.

Ashraf and Bahgat are sadly not alone.

A video uploaded on Thursday titled “The first moments of the murder of the student Amany” reported yet another bloody crime in the village of Toukh Tanbesha, of Barakat al-Sabaa City in Menoufia after a man shot a woman to death for refusing to marry him.

Preliminary investigations confirmed that the perpetrator was called Ahmed, 29, from the same village.

The Head of Menoufia Security Directorate ordered the swift arrest of the culprit and deployment of search teams to apprehend the suspect.

Villagers confirmed that there a relation between the suspect and the victim’s family, and that he had previously proposed to her, but her family turned him down due to his misconduct.

Mental health consultant Walid Hindi said that the root motive behind some of the most shocking crimes have been love.

Statistics say that 40 percent of murder victims are females, compared to only six percent of males, and most murders are from a lover or former lover.

Hindi referred to what psychologists call “Othello syndrome“, a form of pathological jealousy that leads to the killing of a lover.

Other causes could be untreated schizophrenia, she said, a mental illness where a certain idea controls the person’s mind and separates him from reality – leading to scenarios where they imagine a lover will betray them.

Severe depression can also lead to extended suicide cases, she said, leading to the murder of a loved one so that the murderer can then unite with them in death.

Consultant for family and social relations, Ahmed Allam, said that society is facing a moral and societal catastrophe.

These crimes have nothing to do with love, he said, and the third such case in a row is a sign to Egyptian society that something must change – and it starts with how we raise our children.

Allam also wagged his finger to the media, stating that it must focus on stressing that punishment – the death sentence – reserved for these crimes.

He noted that several popular drama shows tend to represent criminal characters who do not receive their just punishments at the end, which he fears will cause people to sympathize and even emulate them.

Allam said that therefore a heightened sense of spirituality and morality are needed to create a society that truly understands what love is about.

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