Thursday, October 22, 2009

Suffer a Witch to Live?

From BBC News: Five women were paraded naked, beaten and forced to eat human excrement by villagers after being branded as witches in India's Jharkhand state.

That link includes a video which is disturbing and hard to watch. The screaming alone is chilling. The article goes on to explain that "Hundreds of people, mostly women, have been killed in India because their neighbours thought they were witches. Experts say superstitious beliefs are behind some of these attacks, but there are occasions when people - especially widows - are targeted for their land and property. "

I'm not sure there is anything that people outside of India can do about these crimes. We are all aware of the modern India but not the tribal cultures. We should be more aware though because this is about the gratuitous torture of women.

Stories about witch hunts have been making the news for years now, but not until this anachronism -- a cell phone video of a witch hunt -- are we outraged. People can still be barbarians even with shiny new technology in their hands.

By the way, the King Jame's Bible quote "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," has no relationship to the India story, but has often been used to justify religiously-based genocide. The real Bible quote was actually about the crime of poisoning.

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