Execution for ‘Witchcraft’

Saudi Arabia put an old woman to death on Monday for “practicing magic or sorcery,” but few details on what she actually did have been released. Saudi authorities say she defrauded people the way psychics do all over the place:

The Saudi Interior Ministry says in a statement the execution took place Monday, but gave no details on the woman’s crime.

The London-based al-Hayat daily, however, quoted Abdullah al-Mohsen, chief of the religious police who arrested the woman, as saying she had tricked people into thinking she could treat illnesses, charging them $800 per session.

That’s more than a bit harsh. We’ve got thousands and thousands of “psychics” and homeopaths and the like in this country. I’d like to see them pursued legally more often, but I certainly don’t think they should be put to death.

About Ed Brayton

After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Thom Hartmann Show, and is almost certain that he is the only person ever to make fun of Chuck Norris on C-SPAN.

  • d cwilson

    But if her “cures” were fraudulent, doesn’t that mean she was actually innocent of witchcraft/sorcery? Doesn’t Saudi Arabia have anti-fraud laws?

    Ah! There I go again. Expecting words to actually make sense.

  • cholten99

    While it will mean little to the deceased here it should be important and us to differentiate between someone executed for “witchcraft” vs “someone pretending to use witchcraft” as the idea that the SA courts can rule that magic is real is horrifying.

    Does anyone know the true extent of the story?

  • raven

    Allah and Allah’s self appointed thugs aren’t looking too powerful here.

    Threatened by an old woman pretending to have minor superpowers, in this case the ability to cure the sick.

  • http://www.rodlamkey.net reverendrodney

    Saudi Arabia 2011 = Salem Mass. 1692.

  • anandine

    reverdndrodney wrote Saudi Arabia 2011 = Salem Mass. 1692.

    The difference is that in Saudi Arabia, the woman does seem to have claimed supernatural powers, whereas the victims in Salem did not.

  • keithb

    Hey Ed:

    Here is another one for Thanks For the first ammendment!


  • http://spaninquis.wordpress.com/ Spanish Inquisitor

    This is what happens when you try to set up shop in competition with Allah.