A short excerpt from the Inter Press Service:
Of the 45 [sentenced to death] in Saudi Arabia, most were charged over illegal sexual activity and alleged black magic practices.
In Saudi Arabia, black magic is considered “haram” or prohibited. Meanwhile, black magic is a booming business in Indonesia, where people seek the help of witch doctors to address a range of problems, from personal to political.
“A lot of times what’s called witchcraft is the remnant of religious magical and healing traditions. In Indonesia, there’s a very rich culture that is ancient that understands the powers of human mind on a very deep level… of people who are healers who you go to in the village if you are sick, who are kind of like the lay psychologists,” Starhawk, a U.S.-based author of numerous books on contemporary earth- based spirituality, told IPS.
She argued that the powerful people in Saudi Arabia use the threat of people who practice witchcraft as a way to distract common people from “the real problems… See, here’s these people who are so scary and awful.”
“It’s part of a way for a dominant religion to denigrate an indigenous religion,” Sara Amis, an Occupy Atlanta spokeswoman who practices Wicca, told IPS.
“My basic opinion is that it’s religious intolerance. The same way I would view someone being put to death for being homosexual – it’s bigotry,” Amis said.