The Persecution of Witches, 21st-Century Style
2014-07-11 0:00

By Mitch Horowitz | NYTimes

Most people believe that the persecution of “witches” reached its height in the early 1690s with the trials in Salem, Mass., but it is a grim paradox of 21st-century life that violence against people accused of sorcery is very much still with us. Far from fading away, thanks to digital interconnectedness and economic development, witch hunting has become a growing, global problem.

In recent years, there has been a spate of attacks against people accused of witchcraft in Africa, the Pacific and Latin America, and even among immigrant communities in the United States and Western Europe. Researchers with United Nations refugee and human rights agencies have estimated the murders of supposed witches as numbering in the thousands each year, while beatings and banishments could run into the millions. “This is becoming an international problem — it is a form of persecution and violence that is spreading around the globe,” Jeff Crisp, an official with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, told a panel in 2009, the last year in which an international body studied the full dimensions of the problem. A report that year from the same agency and a Unicef study in 2010 both found a rise, especially in Africa, of violence and child abuse linked to witchcraft accusations.

More recent media reports suggest a disturbing pattern of mutilation and murder.

[...]

Witch hunting is far from limited, however, to acts of sadistic vigilantism or profiteering. Some legal systems even sanction the killing of accused witches.

In 2011, courts in Saudi Arabia sentenced a man and a woman, in separate cases, to beheading after convictions for sorcery. In 2013, Saudi courts sentenced two Asian housemaids to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison on charges of casting spells against their employers.

A Lebanese television psychic, Ali Hussain Sibat, was arrested in 2008, while on pilgrimage to Medina, by the Saudi religious police for hosting a television show in his native Lebanon, “The Hidden,” where he would make predictions and prescribe love potions and spells. After an outcry by Amnesty International and others, the Saudi courts stayed Mr. Sibat’s execution by beheading, but sentenced him in 2010 to a 15-year prison term.

As in Africa, the wave of anti-witch activity in Saudi Arabia is fairly new. The Saudi religious police devised an Anti-Witchcraft Unit in 2009, resulting in the arrests of 215 alleged “conjurers” in 2012.

Read the full article at: nytimes.com




Pagans in South Africa Defy Religious Discrimination




Related Articles
Pagan revival - Danish Asatru documentary
Witch Hunt: Under the pretext of promoting mental health, the DSM stifles dissent
When Governments Go After Witches
Salem Witch Trials
Action Plan to End Banishing of "Witches" in Burkina Faso
Two women beheaded in Papua New Guinea over witchcraft claims
Widower honours wife’s Nordic roots with traditional Viking funeral... by burning and sinking her ashes on vessel
Slavery in History: Arabs Enslaved Africans for Over 1400 Years
President Robert Mugabe Says No Whites May Own Land in Zimbabwe


Latest News from our Front Page

The Josh Duggar Incident Reveals The Tactics And Hypocrisy of SJWs
2015-05-30 1:46
Last week, In Touch Weekly broke the news that Josh Duggar, eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar from TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, had molested five under-aged girls in 2002 and 2003. Josh, who was 14 at the time, was accused of fondling his victims, touching their breasts and genitals while they slept. A police report was released shortly ...
15 More Men of South Asian Descent Charged With Child Sex Offences
2015-05-30 0:42
Police in Keighley, West Yorkshire have charged 14 men and a 16-year-old boy with sex offences including the rape of a girl under the age of 16. The offences relate primarily to one female victim, with one allegation involving a second who was also under 16 at the time. The offences are alleged to have occurred between 2011 and 2012. In ...
Anti-Semitic fliers left on Chevy Chase driveways
2015-05-29 22:45
Five streets in Chevy Chase, Md., were papered with anti-Semitic fliers on Wednesday morning. Montgomery County police are looking for the person or people who left the hate-filled leaflets on almost every driveway on the streets. “This is very disturbing. My community is definitely disturbed,” said Jean Sperling, the village manager of Martin’s Additions, the community where the fliers were found. Sperling ...
German court says ex-SS officer unfit for trial
2015-05-29 22:32
Prosecutors in the northern German city of Hamburg have dropped their probe into a 93-year-old former Nazi SS officer. Gerhard Sommer, who suffers from dementia, allegedly took part in a World War II massacre in Italy. Gerhard Sommer, a former company commander of a mechanized infantry division, had been accused of participating in the mass murder of 560 civilians by Nazi ...
The Age of Disinformation
2015-05-29 21:56
I have been a professional meteorologist for 36 years. Since my debut on television in 1979, I have been an eyewitness to the many changes in technology, society, and how we communicate. I am one who embraces change, and celebrates the higher quality of life we enjoy now thanks to this progress. But, at the same time, I realize the instant ...
More News »