Thursday, April 19, 2012

Witchcraft Trials

For the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone would travel to Saudi Arabia.  From the April 19, 2012 Daily Mail:

A Sri Lankan woman has been arrested on suspicion of casting a spell on a 13-year-old girl on a shopping trip in Saudi Arabia.She may face the death penalty as the Middle Eastern country is known to behead convicted sorcerers.     
Police spokesman Mesfir al-Juayed confirmed yesterday that details of the woman's arrest published in local media were correct.      
The daily Okaz reported that a Saudi man had complained his daughter had 'suddenly started acting in an abnormal way and that happened after she came close to the Sri Lankan woman' in a large shopping mall in the port city of Jeddah.   
 'He reported her to the security forces, asking for her arrest and the specialised units dealt with the situation swiftly and succeeded in arresting her,' Okaz said.

Read more:
She didn't cast a spell on the security forces?  Why not?  Was she feeling magnanimous?


  1. Are you kidding? She's probably just a first-level wizard. One spell per day, and she needs to camp and rest before she can memorize more. Those security forces better hope they don't ever run into Elminster or Fizban, though.

  2. Actually, traveling to and seeing Saudi Arabia first hand is pretty interesting. You can read about all the...peculiarities...of the place, but seeing them first hand is quite educational.

    In my travels I had the benefit of wearing the uniform of the US, plus (on my longest tour) having a diplomatic passport from a large, powerful, respected Western government (this was long before Obama). That is worth a lot.

    Being there as a TCN is a whole 'nother story, tho. Third Country Nationals are workers from a country that is not Saudi Arabia and not a Western country. Filipinos, Malaysians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, even other arabs... I always thought that conditions in their home countries must be HORRENDOUS for them to travel to Saudi to get a job. Of course, once in Saudi, they were pretty much stuck as the Saudis/company kept their passports and travel documents.

    You would think that at least the Muslim TCNs would be treated better than Western infidels, but nope. Religion is nice, but home country power rules. Pissing off the US or European countries because you abuse their citizens (used to) carry a penalty. But who is afraid of Malaysia?

    Very racist, power-driven society. Saudis at the top, Westerners next (because they have power, money, soldiers, engineers), other arabs, then everybody else at the bottom, and the darker the skin the worse off they are.

    US citizen dating filipina nurse? they get stopped upon suspicion of not being married. US citizen will go free, filipina goes to jail.

    An overtly racist/power-based society with drastic religious rules... everyone should see this once, while it exists. with any luck it won't exist forever.

  3. My experience as a parent is that 13 y/o girls regularly act abnormally even with no witchcraft involved.

  4. For the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone would travel to Saudi Arabia.

    1) Because the place is awash in money. Is it any crazier to go to Saudi Arabia today than it was to go to the Yukon during the Gold Rush? Or to Manaos, Brazil, during the rubber boom?

    2) Because Moslems have to make the pilgrimage to Mecca.

    There are no other reasons, but those are pretty strong reasons.