Spécial Halloween : Sept pays où l’on brûle les sorcières

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CHARLES TREMBLAY : Aujourd’hui on peut se permettre de se déguiser. Alors je me « déguise » en anglophone et je présente un article en anglais. N’ayez crainte, ceci est l’exception qui confirme la règle, la vocation des 7 du Québec est en langue française et je compte bien la respecter. Mais le texte qui suit, paru l’année dernière à pareille date, tombe juste à point autant dans la thématique de ce temps-ci l’année que dans mes intérêts personnels de politique et de magie. Il s’agit d’une liste de 7 pays qui ont une législation anti-sorcellerie et où on ne se gêne pas pour la mettre en application. Ces histoires de « sorcellerie », outre le fait qu’elles entretiennent des superstitions abrutissantes, sont un grave problème car le mot « sorcellerie » est un fourre-tout qui, lorsqu’il est prit pour une réalité tangible, mène à l’arbitraire de la justice, à l’irrationnel fanatique, aux accusations les plus démentes, et le plus souvent à des châtiments particulièrement cruels (et bien sûr, ce sont les femmes qui en font davantage les frais). C’est une arme de contrôle des populations très efficace et c’est pourquoi elle n’est pas seulement utilisée par des régimes rétrogrades mais aussi par les groupuscules politico-religieux néfastes comme Égalité et Réconciliation (entre autre via Salim Laïbi et ses histoires de « sorcellerie des élites », de « frankisme » et de « sabbataïsme »).


—7 Countries That Still Kill « Witches »—


Par Piper Hoffman
Paru sur Care2 le 26 octobre 2013

7 Countries That Still Kill “Witches”

You know how the long-ago witch hunts were stupid and hateful? What a relief those days are over.

Except they’re not. In many countries, people are still killed on suspicion of witchcraft. United Nations experts cautioned in 2009 that murders of women and children accused of sorcery were on the rise. Following are just a few of many examples from around the world.

1. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s religious police department has an official Anti-Witchcraft Unit that it dispatches to catch sorcerers and break their spells. In 2007, the Saudis executed an accused sorcerer. A woman awaiting the death penalty for alleged witchcraft died in prison.

Like the New England witch hunters of yore, those in Saudi Arabia use magic as a convenient excuse to silence inconvenient people. Accusations of sorcery have been leveled against foreign women working as domestics for Saudi families who charge their employers with sexual assault, according to Saudi Arabia expert Christoph Wilcke.

2. Tanzania

This east African country killed approximately 600 elderly women on charges of witchcraft just two years ago. The Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life found a strong and pervasive belief in magic among Tanzanians. It sometimes leads to reverence rather than murder. One woman who claims to be a witch charges between $20 and $120 for services including medical cures and exorcisms — in a country where the average income is under two dollars a day.

3. Gambia

Gambia’s dictator Yahya Jammeh rounds up, tortures and kills his citizens under the pretext of hunting for witches. Amnesty International estimates that at least six people died after Jammeh’s minions forced them to drink a mixture of unknown substances. Dozens more hallucinated and suffered severe and lingering pain. Those who survived suffered shame from the accusation in a country where people believe in and condemn witches.

4. Nepal

Last year a mob burned an accused witch alive after a shaman said she killed a boy. Their faith in the shaman suggests that Nepalis believe that sorcery can be used for good, but the punishment for black magic is death. This year another mob beat a 45-year-old woman to death based on accusations that she cast a spell on a neighbor’s daughter. The Nepali government is not on board with killing witches: police arrested three women suspected of participating in the murder. In the past it sentenced men to 20 years in prison for killing a woman suspected of practicing black magic.

5. India

Last June, a primarily female crowd killed two women believed to have murdered several children through witchcraft. As in Nepal, police arrested people suspected of participating in the mob. Some Indian states have adopted laws banning violence against people suspected of witchcraft.

6. Papua New Guinea

A crowd tortured and murdered a young mother accused of killing a boy through sorcery. They burned her alive before a large audience, some of whom broke off to chase police away before they could intervene. The prime minister lamented that violence against women is increasing because of the popular “belief that sorcery kills,” despite a law that specifically prohibits burning suspected witches.

7. Uganda

After burning a man’s house down and driving him from his village, locals tied him up and beheaded him for alleged witchcraft. While Ugandans kill some suspected witches, they pay others to help them with things like ensuring job security.

This is a small sampling of countries where natives believe in witchcraft and kill people for it. While the governments of some nations, including Saudi Arabia and Gambia, embrace this belief and use it to their own ends, others are working to end it. Either way, accusations of black magic empower people to eliminate individuals they dislike and to terrify others into conformity.

It all makes Halloween witch costumes a little less funny.


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Charles Tremblay

Fondateur de la revue La Jérusalem des Terres Froides. blog : http://jerusalemdesterresfroides.blogspot.ca/

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