A Palestinian teen has died while an Islamic priest attempted to exorcise demons from the girl.
Israa Zourob, 17, died at the hands of one of these “therapists” on Feb. 2 in front of her parents and brother. Abu Khalil al-Zamili forced her to drink a liter of water mixed with half a kilogram of salt to expell the djinn that was possessing her.
Um Youssef Zourob, described the moment of her daughter’s death: “I do not know whether my daughter died of asphyxiation when [Zamili] was trying to make her drink salt water, or of salt poisoning. All I saw was that my daughter’s face turned blue as he shoved water and salt down her throat,” she recounted, tears streaming down her face.
Man, it’s a good thing that priest was there to save the girl.
The great horror of religion isn’t that it can get people to do ludicrous things in the name of faith and/or exorcism, wasting effort and creating suffering or even death while attempting to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. No, the true terror of faith is that it can produce enough reverence for practices drawn from that faith that a parent can watch events like this transpire and never intercede.
And this is not an isolated incident in the region:
“I have treated at least three cases of bruises and wounds caused by severe beatings by these sheikhs under the pretext of expelling djinns and breaking magic spells,” he told Al-Monitor. He asserted that these sheikhs persuaded the patients that they are possessed by a djinn from the demon world, affecting them and their relatives and toying with their minds.
“Every disease, whether psychological or physical, needs to be diagnosed first before the patient receives any treatment or drinks anything. This phenomenon is rampant in the Gaza Strip, because of the failure of concerned parties to control it. Add to that the lack of health education, which makes the patient go to the sheikh before even heading to the hospital,” Abu Sharekh added. He believes that the solution to this problem requires concerted efforts by the Ministries of Health and Interior and media circles. He added that the Prophet Muhammad never said that the Quran was a book of medicine, but rather there are verses in the Quran promoting education and fighting ignorance.
God is such a prankster: creating a book that urges people to fight ignorance while packing the book with ignorant claims and edicts that must be obeyed on pain of eternal torment. If it is noble to seek education and, in doing so, to discard our ignorance, books like the koran and the bible should be the first to go – right about the time we learn that the stars preceded the earth.