Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Religious Police Get Tough on Black Magic | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Sources within the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice [CPVPV] in Saudi Arabia have revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the CPVPV will move to combat magic and those who practice it, and regulate the exercise of legitimate spiritual healing, by instituting a system designed to deal with such practices which are against Islamic Shariaa Law.

Sources close to the CPVPV leadership in the Saudi capital of Riyadh revealed that a number of legal consultancies were studying the draft version and procedural guidelines of this project. Asharq Al-Awsat managed to obtain a copy of this draft which gives the police the right to deal with witches and sorcerers, and the means to identify and convict them.

A study of this project [to combat witchcraft and sorcery] was carried out by the Center for Research and Study which is affiliated to the CPVPV and which put a number of legal opinions on the table including; a definition of magic, witchcraft, divination, fortune-telling and other similar practices, a scientific definition to magical practices, and a model in order to help uncover such practices.

The study, also clarified the signs and symbols that can be used in the practice of magic, as well as the tools used to control magic, while also advising that a system of cooperation be initiated between the various authorities involved in this fight against such practices and those who perform them.

The study also suggested that information be used in the fight against magic, and that the public be warned against it, as the CPVPV has been attempting to do.

The CPVPV also revealed that a number of cases involving magic were discovered in the general public, and so they [CPVPV] do have the ability to prove such cases officially.

Previous cases involving magic prosecuted by the CPVPV revealed the spread of witchcraft and magic throughout the country, and this is as a result of the number of arrested, and the information provided by the relevant authorities involved n the project to address these practices.

The joint-taskforce comprising the CPVPV and the appropriate security agencies was adopted in order to combat what the CPVPV leadership called “the manifestations of this problem, and to define the responsibilities of the parties involved in order to reduce the spread [of magic]” while also recommending that incentives be given to the security agencies that combat magic and witchcraft.

The study also called for regulations to be put in place with regards to the role of telecommunication and Internet service providers to protect the public from communication and television channels that promote magic, while also penalizing those that perpetrate such crimes. It also called for the results of the study to be incorporated into the provision of Islamic Shariaa law, basic law, and criminal law.

The rationale behind the CPVPV study, was to seek to fill the vacuum by making legal and regulatory determinations, as well as clarify the burden of evidence for magic and witchcraft cases as being scientific and practical, while also increasing the number of those involved in combating such cases, from the security agents on the ground, including the men of the CPVPV, to investigators, and judges.