Family guilty of killing pregnant woman they believed was possessed

Naila Mumtaz death: Family members found guilty of murder.

Four members of a Birmingham family have been found guilty of murdering a pregnant woman they believed was possessed by a djinn, or evil spirit.

Mohammed Mumtaz, 25, claimed his wife Naila Mumtaz, 21, had tried to strangle herself at home in 2009.

He was found guilty along with his parents, Zia Ul-Haq and Salma Aslam, both 51, and brother-in-law Hammad Hassan, 24, all of Craythorne Avenue.

“It was like she couldn’t remember who we were. She suffocated herself by putting her hand in her mouth and she tried to strangle herself.

“It was, he said, more like a suicide. He said it was possible that Naila had been possessed by a djinn spirit and said he himself about a month before Naila died had been similarly possessed, and again possessed at the coroner’s court after her death.”

Tip: Fortean Times

Her odd behavior was seen as a sign of being possessed by an evil spirit, when in reality, she could have been suffering from a mental illness. I note in the story hints that she may have been under stress – she was pregnant, it was an arranged marriage, she had left her country and her husband was disabled. Could those VERY stressful factors have played a part? Far more likely than evil spirit possession.

If Naila Mumtaz did show the behavior her husband claims, it’s quite clear the woman was having some sort of psychotic episode and should have received professional help. It’s a tragedy she was treated this way and paid the price for other’s superstitious beliefs.

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  3 comments for “Family guilty of killing pregnant woman they believed was possessed

  1. agent j
    July 12, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Obviously, the woman was experiencing emotional disruption/breakdown. The victim was breaking under all the stresses she had experienced, and continued to experience. However, by NOT delving into the possible stereotypes glaringly obvious in the article, one is silently standing by, encouraging the prejudice, hatred, ignorance that continues to plague the human race regarding the conflicts in the middle east and our political leaders highlighting a religion as the sole source of conflict. I can show you/take you to locations here in Canada where you would swear the local religious groups are “crazy”, “unsafe”, “biased and bigoted”. Then you would be shocked to learn these groups are NOT the evil Muslims we are forced to hate.
    agent j

    • Massachusetts
      July 12, 2012 at 11:34 PM

      I have a hard time seeing the stereotypes too, unless the most basic facts have been misrepresented, and we don’t have evidence for that, do we? Arranged marriages do happen. There is a traditional belief in Djinn, and though not everyone subscribes to those beliefs, some do. It’s not obvious that this article is inaccurate or pushing unfair stereotypes. Perhaps the author could have stressed that not all Muslims are killers and not all Muslims believe in spirit possession, Djinn or related paranormal phenomena. Would that have helped?

  2. LovleAnjel
    July 12, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    What obviously glaring stereotypes? Their names? The word “djinn”?

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