Saudi Anti-Witchcraft Unit Is Busy

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

When the severed head of a wolf, wrapped in women’s lingerie, turned up near the northern Saudi Arabian city of Tabouk,  the Anti-Witchcraft Unit swung into action to break the spell that used the wolf’s head. Superstitious belief in magic and witchcraft is widespread in the kingdom. The Saudis have banned the Harry Potter series of books because of its tales of magic and sorcery.

The superstition that is Islam can provide no logical relief from belief in other superstitions.

The Anti-Witchcraft Unit was set up in May 2009 and placed under the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPV), Saudi Arabia’s religious police. The unit is tasked with apprehending sorcerers and reversing the detrimental effects of their spells.

Those effected by spells can be subjected to ruqiyah, or ruqyah, a treatment for the evil eye, black magic, and jinn (supernatural creatures) possession. It involves incantations from the Qur’an.

We have previously discussed the arrest of a Saudi woman, Fawza Falih, for witchcraft. Her death sentence was postponed, but Falih died in prison of ill health. These superstitious beliefs are not limited to Saudi Arabia as we have previously discussed the arrest of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s aides for working with jinns or spirits.

Often foreign female domestic workers are accused of witchcraft in order to counter their charges of sexual harassment from the male head of a Saudi household. The male head of the household claims that the female bewitched them into falling in love her.

Wahhabism, a sect of Islam, is the national superstition of Saudi Arabia and does not tolerate competing superstitions. They must maintain the illusion that their magic is stronger than the magic of other superstitions. Recall the scene from the Ten Commandments where Moses turns Aaron’s staff into a serpent that devours Pharaoh’s staffs-turned-into-serpents.

I am so thankful that I live in a secular society, and at a time, that values scientific evidence and rational thought. Those who promulgate ignorance-based beliefs wage a constant battle against knowledge and its delivery vehicle: education.

H/T: The Media Line.

12 thoughts on “Saudi Anti-Witchcraft Unit Is Busy”

  1. Hmm… How do they actually know it was a jinn? It could have been Mohammed himself!… Lol! I need a Gin and Tonic now!

  2. Difficult to believe stuff like that is still happening in this day and age. Witchcraft? Honestly, I thought the Saudi’s were relatively progressive.

  3. Pete,
    I am guessing it is designed as a warning of some sort. Sort of like the horse head in the Godfather.

  4. Interesting topic. I suppose the writer is attempting to present a “Bill Maherian” view of religion; at least I am giving the writer the benefit of the doubt. i am no fan of Saudi society, and wanted to read the post, but I found the writer’s barbs and assumptions a real drag–a waste of my time, even.

  5. BillHardin76, I think the reference is a paraphrase of a famous quotation by Robert Heinlein, speaking in the voice of the fictional character Lazarus Long. (This is a paraphrase): “One man’s religion is another man’s superstition.”

    What Heinlein wrote was actually, “One man’s religion is another man’s belly laugh,” but you can insert “superstition” for “belly laugh” and not change the thought at all.

  6. I’m not sure why the article calls Islam a “superstition,” unless the author thinks all religions are superstitions, which also seems to me to be wrong. (Disclaimer: I am not a religious person).

    Webster’s defines “superstition” as “a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.”

    All religions have elements of superstition, but superstition is not usually their main teaching. Instead they mainly focus on love, reverence for a divine reality, compassion, self-actualization, freedom from egoism, the prospect of heavenly reward, etc.

    Wahhabi Islam–the Al Qaida & Saudi religious sect–with its extreme opposition to idolatry, is among the least superstitious of all religious tendencies, though, in my opinion, it is one of the most dangerous. Not because of “superstition,” but because of its open advocacy of violence against those who do not follow its teachings.

  7. Mike S.,
    I think you are correct. This “secular” society is attempting to rewrite laws based on biblical text and teachings.

  8. “I am so thankful that I live in a secular society, and at a time, that values scientific evidence and rational thought.”


    Are you being…..dare I say it……..ironic?

  9. Funny, in this secular society we have many who would ban ‘Potter’ for exactly the same reason. I have a brother & sister-in-law that fall into that group. For them Halloween is a religious holiday that must be banned. Things like devil or witch costumes are evil invitations to procession.

    Yet they believe their Gawd is all powerful and can never be defeated; that he sees all, knows all and can conquer all. It takes an amazing mind to hold those two thoughts at the same time.

  10. I wonder where Aladdin and the Magic Carpet came from…was it really a tale….. Open Sesame…..hmmmmm…

    This story is kind of …..well thank you Nal…

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