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.