divea wrote:And sorcery, where was Aladdin born?
Belief In Genies
Belief in genies, or jinn, as they're called in Arabic, is quite common in Saudi Arabia. But the strict form of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia forbids people from worshiping anyone other than God.
The religious police headquarters in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, has an entire department devoted to combating sorcery and witchcraft and regularly distributes pamphlets and DVDs. In one DVD, which is set to religious music, police search people's homes for signs that they practice witchcraft.
Saudi political analyst Tawfiq al-Saif says religious authorities truly believe they are helping society by discouraging faith in the supernatural.
But, he says, there is also a political reason for the recent rise in sorcery cases.
In the past few years, the government has tried to curb the influence of the religious establishment by sacking key religious figures, pushing for reform in the courts and criticizing the religious police.
"One time, I met the head of the Hey'a [the religious police] and he was really sorry because in the past he was saying that they were free to do whatever they like to enforce the Sharia laws — even, he said, in the public buses, in the train, in the airports," Saif says.
But now that they are under pressure, the religious police are trying to flex their muscles in the few ways they still can, including looking for people who practice magic or who don't pray five times a day, and for women who don't properly cover their hair, Saif says.
divea wrote:Saudi political analyst Tawfiq al-Saif says religious authorities truly believe they are helping society by discouraging faith in the supernatural.
The Ugandan government told us that human sacrifice is on the increase, and . . . is directly linked to rising levels of development and prosperity, and an increasing belief that witchcraft can help people get rich quickly. . . .
"They capture other people's children. They bring the heart and the blood directly here to take to the spirits… They bring them in small tins and they place these objects under the tree from which the voices of the spirits are coming," he said.
Asked how often clients brought blood and body parts, the witch-doctor said they came "on average three times a week . . .
Former witch-doctor turned anti-sacrifice campaigner Polino Angela says he has persuaded 2,400 other witch-doctors to give up the trade since he himself repented in 1990. . .
Mr Angela told us he had first been initiated as a witch-doctor at a ceremony in neighbouring Kenya, where a boy of about 13 was sacrificed.
"The child was cut with a knife on the neck and the entire length from the neck down was ripped open, and then the open part was put on me," he said.
When he returned to Uganda he says he was told by those who had initiated him to kill his own son, aged 10.
"I deceived my wife and made sure that everyone else had gone away and I was with my child alone. Once he was placed down on the ground, I used a big knife and brought it down like a guillotine."
Asked if he was afraid he might now be prosecuted as a result of confessing to killing 70 people, he said:
"I have been to all the churches… and they know me as a warrior in the drive to end witchcraft that involves human sacrifice, so I think that alone should indemnify me and have me exonerated.". . . .
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