Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Modern Day Witch Hunts

People in various parts of the world are still killing each other for the 'crime' of 'witchcraft'. There are sadly hundreds of examples, the two I've seen today are a channel 4 dispatches investigation of the 'witch children' in Nigeria and the upsetting case of an official prosecution and death sentence for witchcraft of a TV presenter in Saudi Arabia.
The first case is a terrible example of the deadly combination of religious extremism, superstition and the mass hysteria of a scared and ignorant mob. In some ways I find the second case more disturbing in that it is official and state sanctioned. The western world (especially the UK and the USA) turn a blind eye to these issues (and their treatment of women and homosexuals) as they do a lot of business with the Saudis, including sales of advanced weapons, something we should all be against in my opinion.
A group called Human Rights Watch are on to this. There is also a BBC report here. Hopefully this will get enough attention that international pressure will be put on the Saudi rulers to put a stop to this nonsense.

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