Witches, black magic and superstitions in Saudi Arabia.
Witch hunts are not a thing from the past? Not in the kingdom! They still find and kill witches here!!! As in the dark ages of Europe the charges are often made up, or the so called withces are just simple tricksters.
Saudi Arabia is a very religious country so superstition and believes in witch craft is still fully alive here. Many tricksters make up potions and claim to have ”magic” powers. \And many people believe them and pay them lots of money. It pays off to claim magical powers. It is typical that in the kingdomthe witches who are caught and beheaded will be women or foreigners. That does not mean that there are not saudi men who claim to be magical but if they have enough important customers they will keep them out of harm.
It is scary to live in a country where people really belive witches exist. \And where they really have witch trials and kill people for something so silly. Not only do people here really believe in witches, they also believe in spirists called Jinn. the Jinn arein the Quran, because Mohammed believed in them and so they must exist.
Also people believe in the ”evile eye”. And they are always worried that jelous people will send them the evil eye or bewitch them.
It is very important you nevr praise anthing, especially not children, without putting many mashallah’s in between your sentences. Otherwise you will force your friends or family to give you the object you admire so that you won’t curse them. Or they will have to spend a lot of time praying to protect themselves and their children fom your evileye.
I am very insulted by this. But superstition is so strong and if you want to keep people around you happy you must remember to always put mashallah behind every sentence you utter to praise.
From the news:
An accused witch, Amina bint Abdulhalim Nassar, was beheaded in Saudi Arabia earlier this week. She had been convicted of practicing “witchcraft and sorcery,” according to the Saudi Interior Ministry. Such a crime is a capital offense in Saudi Arabia, and so Nassar was sentenced to death. Nassar’s sentence was appealed — and upheld — by the Saudi Supreme Judicial Council.
Nassar, who claimed to be a healer and mystic, was arrested after authorities reportedly found a variety of occult items in her possession, including herbs, glass bottles of “an unknown liquid used for sorcery,” and a book on witchcraft. According to a police spokesman, Nassar had also falsely promised miracle healings and cures, charging ill clients as much as $800 for her services.
The woman was the second person to be executed for witchcraft in Saudi Arabia this year. A Sudanese man was executed in September.
The most prominent witchcraft case came in 2008, when a Saudi court slapped a death sentence on Ali Sabat, a Lebanese television personality on a religious pilgrimage to Medina, for making psychic predictions on a Lebanon-based satellite channel (the picture above shows Lebanese human rights activists fashioning a mock gallows outside the Saudi embassy in Beirut to demand Sabat’s release). Sabat’s lawyer told NPR that the Saudi religious police arrested Sabat after recognizing him from television and pressured him to confess to violating Islam if he hoped to return
a look at the kingdom’s past witchcraft cases suggests the bar for proving someone guilty isn’t very high. Witch hunting is fairly institutionalized in Saudi Arabia, with the country’s religious police running an Anti-Witchcraft Unit and a sorcery hotline to combat practices like astrology and fortune telling that are considered un-Islamic. they even have a hotline you can call to turn somebody you don’t like in to the police.
The Anti-Witchcraft Unit was created in order to educate the public about the danger of sorcerers and “combat manifestations of polytheism and reliance on other Gods,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The belief in sorcery is so widespread in Saudi Arabia, that it is even used as a defense in criminal court cases. Last October, a judge accused of receiving bribes in a real-estate project told a court in Madinah that he had been bewitched and is undergoing treatment by Quranic incantations, known as ruqiyah, a common remedy for the evil eye.
In an interview the cartoonist Jaber noted, that most sorcerers both inside and outside the kingdom were charlatans that take advantage of illiterate citizens who believed they were afflicted by the evil eye. He said that such beliefs were more prevalent among older, rural and often illiterate individuals than with younger, educated Saudis.
“A while ago my arm was hurt and I couldn’t draw,” the cartoonist said. “Many older people told me that I must have been afflicted by the evil eye and should be treated by a Sheikh.” (so if a sheikh does magic it’s suddenly ok?)
“It’s a matter of ignorance,” Jaber added. “If people were more educated they wouldn’t believe in this.”
The evidence arrayed against witchcraft suspects typically revolves around statements from accusers and suspicious personal belongings that suggest the supernatural, in a country where superstition is still widespread. In 2006, for example, an Eritrean national was imprisoned and lashed hundreds of times for “charlatanry” after prosecutors argued that his leather-bound personal phone booklet with writings in the Tigrinya alphabet was a “talisman.”
A year later, Saudi authorities beheaded an Egyptian pharmacist who had been accused by neighbors of casting spells to separate a man from his wife and placing Korans in mosque bathrooms. “He confessed to adultery with a woman and desecrating the Koran by placing it in the bathroom,” the Saudi Press Agency reported, adding that books on black magic, a candle with an incantation “to summon devils,” and “foul-smelling herbs” had been found in the pharmacist’s home.
The cases against alleged witches also frequently involve sting operations conducted by religious police. According to Amnesty International, a Sudanese migrant named Abdul Hamid bin Hussein Moustafa al-Fakki — executed in Medina in September for “sorcery” — was first arrested in 2005 when an undercover agent for the religious police asked him to produce a spell that would cause the man’s father to leave his second wife, which al-Fakki allegedly offered to do for $1,600. The Saudi Gazette tells a story of a female religious police agent who entrapped an elusive witch by expressing a desire for her husband to be turned into an “unquestioning obedient man.”
There’s evidence that the cases may involve coerced confessions and miscarriages of justice as well. Human Rights Watch chronicles the plight of an illiterate Saudi woman named Fawza Falih who was beaten, forced to fingerprint a confession that she could not read, tried without a lawyer, and sentenced to death for “witchcraft, recourse to jinn [supernatural beings], and slaughter” of animals after a man accused Falih of rendering him impotent and authorities found a “foul-smelling substance,” a white robe with money inside it, and another robe hanging from a tree in or near her home.
There is no codified law in saudi arabia and judges can make up punishments as they like.