The news that broke out yesterday about a 16-year-old madrasa student who murdered another student over a personal dispute was shocking not just because it happened in a religious institution but also because of how petty the matter of dispute was.
The suspect, Abu Bakkar, was allegedly trying to establish seniority over his class-mate and, by his twisted, psychopathic logic, he thought this was the right way go about it.
It is incumbent upon the authorities -- if they want to preserve even a modicum of competence and integrity -- that they catch the fugitive Abu Bakkar as soon as possible and give him exemplary punishment for his horrific crime.
But his actions point to a larger problem -- a sickness in our society, where violence is used to dominate and intimidate others and where monsters are allowed to walk free.
And this gruesome incident should be a wake-up call for us.
It jarringly brings to our attention the ugly truth that we live in an extremely violent society where religious and political leaders use murder and torture as means of solving personal differences.
It should also remind us of the critical need for a proper education.
At school and at home, we must put more emphasis on teaching our children the right values, interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, etc, in addition to their academic curriculum.
Equally important is for us to set the right example for our youth.
Our hearts go out to the family of the victim and we urge the authorities to bring the perpetrator to justice immediately.