-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.