7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

Ban urged on sorcery

A PROPOSAL to make practising magic and witchcraft a criminal offence will soon be put before parliament.

The issue was discussed by the legislative and legal affairs committee yesterday after it was submitted by five MPs.

If passed, the law could mean that a 'sorcerer' or 'witch' may be punished if the so-called magic they used harmed another person.

MP Mohammed Khalid, who is one of the members proposing the article, said that it would target both con artists and "real magicians".

"Magic is spreading in Bahrain at a rate that is unbelievable," he claimed.

"I am constantly getting complaints from people who tell me that sorcerers are trying to break up their marriages and families."

Mr Khalid said that the clause he would like to be inserted into the Penal Code would make the practice of magic punishable the same way an assault against another person would be.

"If you used a hammer against someone and that person was hurt, you would be punished," he said.

"So what is the difference if you use magic to harm others?"

Mr Khalid said that the practice of magic was becoming a very lucrative business for many people.

"There are some who just pretend to be magicians to get money and there are some who are real magicians," he continued.

"There are people paying thousands to both real and fake magicians."

He also wants to give the police the power to raid witches' dens and make arrests if evidence of witchcraft is found.

Mr Khalid was the MP who had previously accused rock concert goers of being devil worshippers and initiated the parliament's discussion and eventual investigation of the Spring of Culture festival for its alleged sexual content.

Committee member Ibrahim Mohammed Busandal said that he didn't believe that there were real magicians practising in Bahrain, but that he would support a law that would prevent tricksters from taking advantage of the weak.

"It would be a good law if it prevented them from cheating people," he said.

"There are some people who use their homes for these practices and something needs to be done to make it illegal, which it currently isn't."

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