Heads up, witches, wizards, and Harry Potter fans! Saudi Arabia's Anti-Witchcraft Unit has been mobilized again, this time in response to the discovery of the severed head of a wolf wrapped, apparently, in women's lingerie.
Those unfamiliar with Saudi Arabia's witchhunters should not be surprised to learn that the frighteningly conservative and mind-bogglingly religious state treats claims of its citizens meddling with dark forces very, very seriously. Established within the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in 2009, the elite Anti-Witchcraft squad is devoted to investigating and eliminating alleged sorcerers, witches, and astrologers, breaking spells, and teaching the populace about the dangers of seeking after Forbidden Knowledge.
According to Abdullah Jaber of Al-Jazeera "In accordance with our Islamic tradition we believe that magic really exists. The fact that an official body, subordinate to the Saudi Ministry of Interior, has a unit to combat sorcery proves that the government recognizes this, like Muslims worldwide."
In the case of the wolf's head, the Anti-Witchcraft Unit in Tabouk claims to have broken the spell. The Saudi daily Okaz reported on Monday that the unknown family that had fallen victim to the spell had been "liberated from the jaws of the wolf.” No word yet on the methods used, but if I had to guess, I'd say they probably weren't combating dark sorcery with the power of rainbows and friendship.
The Saudi Press Agency claims that The Anti-Witchcraft Unit was created in order to educate the public about the danger of sorcerers and "combat manifestations of polytheism and reliance on other Gods."
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More at http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=230183