It’s still happening: Ignorance and superstition kills innocent people.
The mentally ill woman in her forties, who is a mother of eight, decided to seek the aid of a fqih in her town.
To cast out the evil spirit from her body, the Fqih loudly recited incantations and passages from the Koran, the holy book of Islam. With the help of four of his assistants, the Fqih hit her with a stick all over her body in order to “force the evil spirit” to leave her.
The people involved are currently under arrest while the case is being investigated.
She was mentally ill. And a mother of eight. I am appalled by those things together. But more appalled that it would be seen as something right to do to perform an exorcism. We must assume that they knew nothing about modern medicine or that such care was unavailable. Instead, she had no choice but to resort to an exorcist.
Muslim clergy discourage exorcisms generally but possession by a djinn is has historically been part of Islam. This explains the religious justification for the beating of the woman:
According to Islamic scholars, “The Jinni enters the one seized by fits and causes him to speak incomprehensible words, unknown to himself; if the one seized by fits is struck a blow sufficient to kill a camel, he does not feel it.” (Shaikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah, Majmoo al-Fatawa.)
In February, the same source (using the same stock photo) reported on a fqih who tortured a young bride to death to remove the devil. She died after several sessions with him. One wonders why she had a fit of hysterics after marriage.
Women have limited rights in Morocco to begin with but it is getting better, too slowly. It was just in 2004 that a law was passed to give them some basic rights but there is a long way to go. In conservative Islamic families, however, the women are still subject to traditional harsh rules and discrimination. Antiquated supernatural religious customs that have not yet been usurped by an educated public are to blame for these deaths.