Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

Evil genie possesses young adult, father forced to lock him in basement for six years

July 26, 2010

The only news source I can find on this story is the notoriously awful Daily Fail so this should be taken with a grain of salt, I guess. From the Daily Mail:

A Saudi man has been chained in a basement apartment for more than six years because his father believes he is possessed by an evil female genie.

The victim here is referred to as Turki, and he’s 29. His father – who’s unnamed in the article for some bizarre reason – claims that he went into convulsions where his eyes went completely white. It sounds like he was having some kind of a seizure and his eyes rolled back.

At first his father took him to a mosque so that some clerics could read the Koran at him. Then Turki started speaking in a female voice, telling him that he was a Jinn and that the only way to exorcise him was to kill Turki. The clerics had a better idea: chain Turki up in the basement and continue reading the Koran at him. And that’s what his father did.

It’s funny how these specific kinds of demonic possessions only seem to happen where the culture is already immersed in stories about them. Why don’t Jinns ever seem to possess Canadians or Norwegians? You would think that this might give pause to people like this unfortunate guy’s father, or even the clerics. The Daily Fail even accidentally offers some further insight on this issue:

Turki’s father claimed he himself was afflicted by a jinn at the age of nine and suffered for more than four decades until it was exorcised by a cleric.
‘I used to see a woman who would at times appear very beautiful and at times extremely ugly,’ he said.

It sounds a lot like those people who would say that they had been abducted by UFOs and then years later the aliens would come back for their children. But those alleged abductions seem to be more of an American phenomenon. It never seems to happen in Saudi Arabia. There you get Jinn possessions instead. And we never seem to get Jinn possessions here in America.

Again, that should give pause to the people making these claims. They should explore the possibility that all of the various mythical interpretations are wrong, and that the victims here are experiencing some kind of natural, earthly phenomenon. And the best way to explore those kinds of problems is with a medical doctor and not ignorant peddlers of superstition.


TV personality on death row in Saudi Arabia for “witchcraft”

November 29, 2009

So before Saudi media outlets were just complaining about witchcraft (in this post, I mentioned the Hajj “stoning the devil” ritual that usually results in collapsing structures, killing gullible pilgrims. This year, flooding killed 83. Allah didn’t stop the flooding for some reason. Just a quick update.), now they’re doing something about it. Well, the courts are anyway.

The Lebanese TV presenter Ali Sibat was on a trip to Saudi Arabia when he was arrested for “witchcraft.” This apparently involves making predictions on his show.

Here is video of his trial:

So let’s see, there’s no real evidence against him, he’s not even Saudi Arabian, and he’s being put to death for being annoying on television. Can’t Oprah go on vacation in Saudi Arabia?

UPDATE: Stay of execution!

Sorcery in Saudi Arabia

September 14, 2009

There’s this article in Arab News (“The Middle East’s Leading English Language Daily”) which just absolutely reeks of doublethink and the kind of problems one gets into when accepting one form of woo over another, which I wrote about earlier this month. Here’s the lede:

Hardly a day passes without a local newspaper reporting the arrest of a sorcerer in the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia], something that is indicative of the widespread meddling in sorcery.

Maybe that is what it is what it is indicative of. But the author here overlooks the possibility that it’s also indicative of the insanity that results from witch hunts. Those arrested for this “crime” aren’t always even guilty of breaking this insane law. It’s just an accusation which is not amenable to any kind of testing, so it becomes a rationalization for imprisoning or even killing whoever the accuser doesn’t happen to like.

And of course they overlook the possibility that the arrests are indicative of the government arresting people for having different religious beliefs from that of the majority. Even if those arrested were “guilty” of the “crime” of which they were accused, so what? The article goes on to portray the “sorcerers” almost in a realistic way – that they’re hucksters shamming the gullible, but if that were really the problem, then there would be no need to limit the law to certain religious practices. So they have to condemn these people on entirely different grounds:

People underestimate how serious a sin magic actually is.

They don’t go into detail on how exactly the editorial board of Arab News objectively identifies the varying degrees of “sin” or anything like that. It’s just a “sin.” A very serious one. SRSLY?

Here’s some context, from just before and after the above quote:

“That was four years ago. I now only seek Allah’s help,” she said… Abeer Saleh said some members of her family are so infatuated with magic that they act strange and perform nonsensensical rituals.”

If they have some kind of reason for preferring Allah-based magic over tribal mysticism-based magic, it’s not made apparent. Just that one is a “serious sin” and the other is not. And how could these people deride acting strangely and performing nonsensical rituals without collapsing from the cognitive dissonance? Here is a good example of a nonsensical ritual.



What happens is that pilgrims on their Hajj thing go to this holy city and throw stones at three pillars which somehow represent Satan. They stampeded toward the pillars, and in 2004 and then in 2006 this led to a structural collapse which killed hundreds of people. Is that acting strange? Is that a nonsensical ritual? How could it possibly not be any stranger than writing names down on a piece of paper and then putting the paper in a bottle – or eating a cracker which is supposed to be the flesh of a man-god who died 2000 years ago, for that matter?

It’s not. The only way advocates of faith-based positions can criticize other faith-based positions is by creating some completely vacuous and meaningless concept like “sin” and arbitrarily attributing it to anything they don’t happen to like.