Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Five Billion Lashes | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Saudi expert said that Arabs spend around 5 billion dollars annually on witchcraft and sorcery. The expert who made this statement was Dr. Fahd al-Sunaidi, a professor of contemporary doctrines at King Saud University. According to Asharq Al-Awsat, al-Sunaidi provided this statistic a few days ago during one of his lectures. Upon hearing this astronomical figure, one can only wonder: when will a nation that is being laughed at by these frauds do away with its naiveté and heedlessness?

Five billion dollars per year! This is an astronomical figure and if we multiply it by the past 20 years, the total would be 100 billion dollars. Imagine what could be done with an amount like that rather than going into the devil’s pocket! In this context, we ought to commend the Saudi judiciary for its firm and resolute position on sorcerers. We can only reproach some of our Arab brothers who allow these frauds to set their traps on the street and on television channels. These frauds range from psychic palm readers and coffee cup readers to fortune tellers. I don’t think many people in our Arab world have reached a level of awareness that enables them to protect themselves against the traps set by such frauds and sorcerers. Pursuing these kinds of people and preventing them from carrying out their practice has now become a responsibility that countries and intellectuals should shoulder.

The people who deal with sorcerers shouldn’t be portrayed as victims, as the media sometimes describes them; in reality, they are wrongdoers. If it were not for them, sorcery would not be so widespread and so damaging to people’s minds and souls. Even though I detest flogging, those at fault deserve 5 billion lashes, a lash for each dollar they deposited in the devil’s account. I remember how some of our school teachers used to subject our small and fragile bodies to their canes. This led to many of my friends leaving the education system, as only a handful of students were able to persevere. Back in those days, some of our late teachers were not familiar with Ibn Khaldoun who once said that whoever subjects others to tyranny and oppression whether they are teachers, Mamluks or servants, will always feel oppression and unhappiness in their own lives, and there are many people like that around us.