Rights body urges Saudi to repeal witchcraft death sentence
Nov 25th, 2009
New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged a Saudi court to overturn a death sentence imposed on Ali Sibat, a Lebanese man convicted of practicing witchcraft. The group said that Sibat was arrested in Medina last year because of making psychic predictions on a TV channel in Beirut.
“Saudi courts are sanctioning a literal witch hunt by the religious police,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director of HRW said in a statement. “The crime of ‘witchcraft’ is being used against all sorts of behavior, with the cruel threat of state-sanctioned executions.”
The Enlightenment, which swept England and Europe in the late 1680s, brought empirical reason, skepticism, and humanitarianism, each of which helped defeat the superstitions of the earlier age. The Enlightenment suggested that there was no empirical evidence that alleged witches caused real harm, and taught that the use of torture to force confessions was inhumane.
England executed it's last witch in 1682. Back in the Americas, in Puritan Massachusetts, the notorious Salem Witch Trials were held in 1692. 19 people were put on trial, found guilty of witchcraft and executed on Gallows Hill. Another 13 languished and died in prison, while one 81-year old man was pressed to death, for refusing to be tried as a wizard.
Many factors eventually led people to question what they were doing, which led to the abandoning of such cases of mass hysteria and 'witch hunting' in general.
So if you're looking for an evolutionary yardstick by which to compare the mindset of those whose lives are in fact controlled by Islam (or any other 'religion' which condemns an individual for the 'crime of witchcraft'...), you can safely turn back the clock at least some 350 years or so.
And you're wondering why it's so hard for them to grasp the concept of "human/womens rights"...???