Last year, the BBC reported on a case where four family members were found guilty of murder. The victim, Naila Mumtaz, an expectant mother, was found smothered in the home she shared with her husband, Mohammed, in Birmingham, England. Mohammed and his parents, Zia Ul-Haq and Salma Aslan, along with his brother-in-law, Hammad Hassan, denied the allegations and defended themselves by claiming that Naila’s injuries were self-inflicted, and that she was possessed by a jinn (djinn), an Islamic evil spirit, similar to the Christian concept of a demon.
Although it received some media attention, this was not an isolated case. Catrin Nye (BBC) reported a rise of criminal abuse in the UK related to the exorcism of jinn (a practice called “Ruqyah”) in recent years. Some of these cases have resulted in the victims’ death, with the so-called “healer” (“raaqi”) often escaping punishment, being hidden by members of their communities. Even in the majority of cases, where death does not occur, we find victims of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other mental health issues being denied the proper medical treatment in favor of exorcism.… Read the rest