A friend sent me 2 news clippings yesterday. One was about a call to release 80 women from jail in Malawi – their crime? Witchcraft.
(Now let’s get one thing straight. People may play at witchcraft, and believe in witchcraft. But it doesn’t actually work. It’s on the same level as seeing fairies at the bottom of the garden. If you believe in witchcraft, then I have news for you – you are gullible and apparently incapable of applying critical thinking to what you are told. My advice? Go read Carl Sagan’s “The Demon-haunted World” and then come back and argue with me if you still believe in mumbo-jumbo.
I am fond of saying that I write fantasy: I don’t believe in it. It’s called entertainment, yanno?)
There have been cases in Malaysia where people have been murdered by “witches” (we call them bomoh here) – but always they have been killed by, well, more conventional methods. Like an axe. More often, people are murdered by others trying to remove the “black magic” that has “bewitched” the innocent. You know, like beating them to death, which happened in a recent case.
Unfortunately you sometimes – no, often – get idiots who should know better believing in this stuff, like this “doctor” who has evidently never seen a skilled magician before. He is right about one thing though, the power of the mind to aid healing. But I believe this latter is explicable by science, not mumbo jumbo. (And why does he marvel at broken bones mending without traction? Nobody touched my broken collar bone. It has mended. Monkeys routinely break bones in their life in the wild, and many of them heal without the aid of a doctor and live to a ripe old age.)
Anyway, why am I getting all het up over this?
Because of the second article my friend sent me. In this it is suggested, by a couple of gullible people who can’t apply critical thinking to what they are told, that Malaysia should draft laws to ensure that those who practise black magic and cause harm or death be prosecuted like offenders under criminal law. (My comment: even though magic doesn’t actually work, yanno…) Unfortunately, the people who made the suggestion are not without influence.
What might the end result be? Innocent people going to jail for crimes that never happened. Like, apparently, in Malawi.
I am hoping Malaysia has more sense.
But sometimes I despair – that ghastly book “The Secret” by an Australian
con artist successful writer was a best seller here.