RIYADH (Web Desk) – Saudi Arabia’s influential religious police have started training its new members on how to fight magic and arrest sorcerers and magicians in the Gulf Kingdom.
A 30-member team of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has completed a five-day course on combating magic at the Commission’s headquarters in the capital Riyadh, Emirates247 reports.
They said the course covered theoretical and practical lessons on how to deal with magic, destroy black art work and identify magicians and sorcerers.
Magic is strictly banned in Saudi Arabia, where those convicted for involvement in sorcery have been executed.
In 2007, Egyptian pharmacist Mustafa Ibrahim was beheaded in Riyadh after his conviction on charges of “practicing magic and sorcery as well as adultery and desecration of the Holy Quran.”
In 2013, two Asian maids were sentenced to 1,000 lashings and 10 years in prison after their bosses claimed that they had suffered from their magic.
The Saudi government, in 2009, created and formalised a special “Anti-Witchcraft Unit” to educate the public about the evils of sorcery, investigate alleged witches, neutralize their cursed paraphernalia, and disarm their spells.
Saudi citizens are also urged to use a hotline on the CPVPV website to report any magical misdeeds to local officials.
In 2009 alone, at least 118 people were charged with “practicing magic” or “using the book of Allah in a derogatory manner” in the province of Makkah, the country’s most populous region.