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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Black magic in Saudi Arabia

From the Arab News:
While the Saudi Border Guard continues its search for the body of Fatima, the 18-year-old woman who reportedly drowned in the Red Sea off Jeddah’s Corniche on July 9, reports have come out about some more “magical” underwater discoveries.

Twenty-two small bottles have been found a few meters underwater; inside them contained paper with names scrawled on them, as well as an occasional piece of jewelry or lock of hair. According to yesterday’s Al-Madinah newspaper these are magical spells.

A little explanation: It is common (and firmly discouraged by the country’s religious police) for some locals to cast spells on people.

There are variations to this process, but the spell typically includes the person’s name written on piece of paper and a stolen personal item, anything from a bank statement to a stolen ring or hair. These items are often placed in vessels and tossed into the Red Sea.

The newspaper interviewed Sheikh Faisal bin Salman, an Islamic scholar who tracked down one of the persons targeted by one of the spells. “One of the papers was a bank receipt which included the number and the name of that man. I called him immediately and it turned out that he started to suffer from a massive headache and dizziness 20 days ago. Exactly the date of the spell,” said bin Salman.

The man, whose name was not revealed, was identified as a senior telecommunications industry executive.

The newspaper said he is being treated for the black magic.

As the sheikh works diligently to undo magic, the body of teenager has yet to be found.
Notice that the sheikhs aren't saying that the black magic is nonsense and irrelevant to Islam; they are saying that it is real, it works and it needs to be exorcised.

Sounds like a good "weapon."