Love Thy Neighbour: November 2002 Archives

November 28, 2002

Yes, but are they virgins?

Two men are in custody in Malwi after they tried to sell two female relatives to businessmen for use in witchcraft rituals.

A police source in Kasungu said the two suspects admitted that they wanted to sell their relatives because they wanted money to buy food because their relatives are not assisting them since they got married in Lilongwe where they stay.
The source said the two were demanding K450,000 for each person and were targeting businessmen who they thought would need the women to boost their businesses. The suspects are alleged to have offered to kill the relatives through witchcraft.

Two in custody for attempting to sell relatives - The Nation, 28th November 2002.

Off by a couple of orders of magnitude

The hundreds of Christian protestors expected at the Pagan Federation event in Croydon turned out to number approximately five.

Around five demonstrators waited outside Fairfield on Saturday (November 23) in a protest of prayer, handing out Bible tracts as revellers walk in to the annual Pagan Federation conference. Protester Patrick Battell said: Unfortunately we didn't get the turnout we were hoping for. Kevin (sic. - they probably mean Nigel) Bourne, of the organisers of the PF conference, said: I felt terribly sorry for them standing out in the rain. We took them out tea but I think they gave up at around 2pm.

Dwindling demonstation - Croydon Guardian, 28th November 2002.

November 26, 2002

Setting an example

Evangelists are annoying, but it's possible to over-react. A Chicago man killed a Catholic woman who kept going on at him because he was gay and tried to persuade him to repress his feelings and act straight.

Those of us who knew her immediately hear her soft voice saying something like, 'God wouldn't approve of the way you're living your life,' said Mary Coleman, a friend and neighbor. That's how Mary did things.

Quarrel preceded slaying, officials say - Chicago Tribune, November 18th 2002.

November 24, 2002

Not exactly Watergate

A pastor in Swaziland has cast a spell, sorry, performed an exorcism to 'cleanse' the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions after government officials were said to have broken in and performed rituals of unbelievable depravity in there. Exorcism after Swazi witch hunt - BBC News, November 22nd 2002.

November 23, 2002

'Witch' murdered in South Africa

A mob stabbed a 55-year-old man multiple times and then decapitated him after he was accused of witchcraft. The incident took place in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, on Friday and 25 people have been arrested in connection with the incident. Man Killed Amid Accusations of Witchcraft - South African Press Association (via November 22nd 2002.

November 22, 2002

Miss Perceived Motives

At least 100 people are known to have died as a result of rioting in Nigeria over the Miss World beauty contest. The riots were started by youths, ostensibly as a protest against a newspaper's claim that the prophet Muhammed would have married one of the women in the contest had he seen it. Muhammed's first wife, Khadija, was twenty years his senior and a successful businesswoman - not the sort of feminine qualities the Miss World contest promotes. The area is known for religious violence, and the rioters attacked churches - perhaps a better indicator of the rioters' motives.

Other Muslims have criticized the contest as being degrading to women and immoral, and are upset that the preliminaries are being held during Ramadan. The events are only taking place in the south of the country though, and not in the largely Muslim north.

Several of the contestants plan to boycott the final as a protest over a Muslim court's death-by-stoning sentence on a woman for being raped - a major controversy in Nigeria which looks likely to lead to the Sharia courts losing the right to impose any death sentence. Miss World riots 'leave 100 dead' - BBC News, November 22nd 2002. Question #34550: How did the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) marry Khadeejah? at Islam-qa has some background information on Khadija.

Sauce, suitable for both geese and ganders.

Various evangelists have been criticized for making outrageous statements about Islam, and now a Muslim activist has made equally outrageous statements about them. Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) compared the likes of Jerry Falwell and Jimmy Swaggart to Osama bin Laden, wanting to split the world into a holy war and willing to kill Muslims given the chance.

It's the incitement we're talking about, said Mr. Hooper, whose organization has been linked to radical Islamist groups in the Middle East. It's not Jerry Falwell throwing a hand grenade into a mosque.

Mr. Hooper said his original comment about the evangelical leaders was provoked in an interview with a conservative New York radio show last week. Under questioning by WABC radio's Steve Malzberg, Mr. Hooper said evangelical critics wanted to spark a religious war.

When Mr. Malzberg asked whether the Christian leaders would kill Muslims as bin Laden urges Muslims to kill Jews and Christians, Mr. Hooper said: Given the right circumstance, these guys would do the same in the opposite direction.

Hooper's organisation is known for demanding apoogies from those who have slighted Islam, but if he was expecting the same demands be made of him, he'll be disappointed. The offending comments by evangelists, including Jimmy Swaggart's demand that all Muslim students with visas be expelled from the US, provoked a strange statement from George W. Bush: Ours is a country based upon tolerance [and] we're not going to let the war on terror or terrorists cause us to change our values. Muslim activist won't apologize to evangelistsWashington Times, November 22nd 2002. Steve Malzberg's web site, where there is apparently a transcript of the interview, but I can't find it.

November 20, 2002

Croydon must be a dull place

Croydon Christians plan to protest outside a 'Satanic' Pagan Federation event next weekend after being shocked at children wearing black at a recent Children of Artemis event at the same venue. Bible tracts urging attendees to give up Paganism are promised, but Nigel Bourne is not worried:

This is a free world and it seems that the only religion to protest against us is Christianity which is the one that seems to lose adherence every day.

Copies of the tracts would be appreciated here at Prattle Towers. Christians to protest at pagan festival - Croydon Guardian, November 20th 2002.

The Wrath of God isn't what it used to be

This correspondence from tjc, with the Subject: The Wrath of God isn't what it used to be, is too good to re-write:

John MacLeod, of the Free Presbyterian Church, said: Look at those hundreds of thousands of people in London for the countryside march on a Sunday. Two days later England experienced the biggest earthquake it has seen for 10 years.
So there you have it. A big march in London on the Sabbath and a couple of days later Jehovah gets around to shaking a few tiles off of a roof. Absolutely barking!

Wee Frees rail against evil of first Sabbath flight - Daily Telegraph, 28th October 2002.

November 14, 2002

Get rich - don't spend money on food.

Patna authorities are looking for a part-time fakir who apparently hypnotised a man to starve his three children to death.

It is a strange case. The media reported starvation deaths. These looked like starvation deaths, but when we looked for reasons we found that Illiyas had been under the spell of the 'fakir' for the last two months, who had advised him and his family members to forego food and remain alive on water if they wanted prosperity.

He kept his family without food, and praying, for two months. Father starves three children to death - Times of India, November 14th 2002.

November 13, 2002

And God said "Thou shalt pee".

In Malawi, a woman accused of killing her nephew's children disrupted the trial, complaining that she is innocent because she was doing God's work. Rhoda Chikoko repeatedly stood up and hurled insults.

I want to go to the toilet. Why did you bring me here as if I am wrong? You policeman, do you know that I can kill you? God sent me here to do his work and you are arresting me. If you want, go and ask Him about me, he will tell you. Take me to the toilet you fools! I am not a sinner.

She also claimed she had ressurected from the dead. Another of the accused, Clifford Bwanali - the father of the deadchildren, gave an interview reminiscient of the Parrot Sketch:

My children are not dead, theyてe all alive. They are just resting. By the way, why accuse me of killing own children? Even if I killed them, whatて wrong? Mind you, my aunt was only trying to perform her heavenly rituals. She is an angel. My children are still living and that is strictly our family business, he said, amid boos from bystanders.
On what the three, plus his wife, were doing for four days in the house naked, Bwanali laughed and said: We were praying to God to deliver us from evil. Let me tell you, we -- my family, my father and mother and I -- are great witches. My children were also great in witchcraft, they were taught before they were born. Now they are clean.
He added: Stop harassing me, I am innocent . And he started praying.

Suspected child killer suspect disrupts court - The Malawi Nation, November 12th 2002.

November 8, 2002

Kill or cure time.

Vietnam: A girl has died after inhaling a cure designed to rid her of demons.
The parents of Pham Thi My had been told by a village magician that she was possessed by demons, according to Tran Phuong, a police inspector in Binh Thuan province. In an attempt to exorcise the demons, My was held down on a chair by her mother and father as Nguyen Thi Beo - a reputed witch from the village - put a substance on a coal burner underneath the chair. My went into shock and died one hour after receiving the treatment last month in a province 50 kilometres west of Ho Chi Minh City. Beo, 39, has no formal medical training, but she had reportedly made a fortune with her practice in the village of Tan Long.
Vietnamese girl dies after inhaling cureBorneo Bulletin, November 8th 2002.

Thou shalt not recover

More than 200 children have died in the US over the last 15 years of easily-treated ailments because their parents relied entirely on faith to cure them. Deliberate cover-ups, lack of investigation and poor record keeping are among the factors responsible for such cases not being better known.

Public officials, said Asser's co-author, Rita Swan, have long ignored these deaths. Swan is president of Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD). This Iowa-based nonprofit organization works to protect children from abusive religious and cultural practices, especially religion-based medical neglect.
There are many laws that allow parents to deprive their children of various kinds of health care on religious grounds, said Swan. The religious exemption laws are a rare example of discrimination de jure: laws that deprive one group of children of protections afforded to others.

In a study of one particular church, the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City, researchers found that children born into the church were 4.5 times more likely to die than children in the surrounding population. The state of Oregon has since repealed laws granting religious exemption in cases of child abuse, neglect, manslaughter, criminal mistreatment, and criminal nonsupport. No child in the church has died since the law was repealed. Physician studies fate of ill children 'treated' by faith healing - George Street Journal, April 2002.

Biodegradable coffins

Russian authorities have decided on an unusual method to deter Islamic terrorists - the Chechens killed in the recent seige in a Moscow theatre will be buried in pigskin.

Shahidi (Jihad martyrs) believe by their nefarious acts that they ascend immediately to heaven. Using their beliefs against them, wrapping their corpses in 'unclean' pigskin prevents them from entering heaven for eternity.

Chechen Terrorists to be Buried in Pigskin - Arutz Sheva, October 31st 2002.

November 1, 2002

Stupidity and racism together - what a surprise.

A parish council in Cornwall has demanded the destruction of a memorial to quarry workers because they fear the stone circle, and the picnic tables inside it, might be used by Pagans. Local parish priest Rev Peter Kerton-Johnson told the Western Daily Press of his fears:

To put an altar in the centre of the circle is really inviting some sort of pagan practice. I have come from South Africa where these sort of things happen daily, even human sacrifice where children are killed and body parts taken by witch doctors. There has already been an instance recorded in Britain in which a mutilated child's body was found in the Thames. Now there is hearsay that some sort of wedding took place at the circle.

This explains why there are so many child sacrifices in churches, registry offices and other wedding venues. The monument was built by quarry owner Richard England who was bemused by the suggestion: I can take it all away, but what will be next to go, Stonehenge?. Stone circle could be used for witchcraft, fear - Western Daily Press, October 30th 2002.

One for Tara

Brio is a typical magazine aimed at teenage girls. It has all the usual stuff - how to deal with bad hair, spots, dating, agony aunts, naff fiction and fourteen pages of hate speech about Wicca. Why?

For more than 12 years, Brio has been teaching, entertaining and challenging teen girls toward a healthy self-concept and closer relationship with Jesus Christ.

They apparently send their readers off on missions too.

African witch-beliefs

A couple of articles on witch-hunts in Africa have appeared recently. In an article for The Times of Zambia, Sydney Chisenga details a number of incidents before discussing the recent World Health Organisation report.

In North-Western Zambia's Kasempa district, a coffin (believe it or not) carried by six pall bearers magically U-turned and forced them to standstill in front of an old male villager who was accompanying the mourners to the burial site. This brought the mourners to a standstill and on instinct they picked up stones and pelted the 70-year-old man to death accusing him of having killed the deceased through black magic.

Violence: the Chilling RevelationsThe Times of Zambia (via, October 31st 2002.

BBC News has a rather grisly article by Daniel Dickenson on efforts to deal with 'witch' murders in Tanzania.

Mbula Habuka is a traditional healer. He sings songs aimed at chasing evil spirits away. He has never incited one of his clients to murder, but admits there are many traditional healers who have suggested murder as a remedy. He says that healers are playing on deeply held cultural beliefs in the power of witchcraft and the superstition that an illness is the result of a misdeed rather than a medical problem.

The phenomenon is not as old as you might think:

The murder of older people due to the belief in witchcraft is a relatively new development dating back just 30 years. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the number of incidents has increased recently due to a worsening economic situation.

Tackling 'witch' murders in TanzaniaBBC News, October 29th 2002.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Love Thy Neighbour category from November 2002.

Love Thy Neighbour: October 2002 is the previous archive.

Love Thy Neighbour: December 2002 is the next archive.

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