Pakistan police investigate after young woman dies during exorcism

Jul 5, 2014

By Andrew Buncombe

 

Police in Pakistan have launched a murder inquiry after a young woman was reportedly beaten to death by a Muslim holy man who was trying to “exorcise demons” from her.

Reports said the 24-year-old woman from Lahore, Zeenat Bib, had been suffering from undiagnosed problems for some time and that her family had taken her to several doctors.

Her condition had not improved and so her family decided to take her to a local pir, or Sufi elder, who they believed could confront “the demons tormenting her”.

Police told the Express Tribune newspaper that the young woman’s cousin, Shahbaz, had taken her to the healer, identified as Pir Afzal. During his so-called treatment, the pir is alleged to have tied her up with ropes and began to beat her.

“When Zeenat Bibi started screaming in pain, Shahbaz tried to stop him but the pir told him that the blows were not hurting her,” a neighbour told the newspaper.

15 comments on “Pakistan police investigate after young woman dies during exorcism

  • Meanwhile Indian police arrest 4 people for two “honour killing” brutal murders!

    A young couple who were planning to marry were brutally murdered in the Indian state of Haryana on Wednesday. Police are treating the case as an “honour crime”. The BBC’s Zubair Ahmed visited the village in Rohtak district where the incident took place.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-24170866
    Dharmender Barak, 23, and Nidhi Barak, 20, were allegedly killed by members of Nidhi’s family in Garnauthi village in the northern state of Haryana on Wednesday evening.

    First, Nidhi was beaten to death and then Dharmender was dismembered alive.

    Nidhi’s parents and an uncle have been arrested. A fourth villager – a driver – has also been held. Police say they are treating the double murder as an “honour crime”.

    At the funeral on Thursday, I was searching for remorse or guilt on the faces of the men present at the cremation ground, but there was none forthcoming.

    “Who wants to kill their own children? But whatever God wanted, happened,” said a relative of Nidhi.

    Such is the dogmatic, primitive irrationality, of faith-thinking!



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  • I wasn’t aware that it was customary in Islam either. Perhaps it seemed like such a good idea that this practice was incorporated into Islamic traditions.



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  • 7
    Miserablegit says:

    A religious truth if they have any mental problems, beat it out of them and if you have any qualms just tell yourself that they cannot feel your assault. If they should die as a result of your brutality you can always comfort yourself with the thought that it was gods will.



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  • 8
    old-toy-boy says:

    To be fair, the tragedy was more likely caused by stupidity rather than religion, In this case where the young lady died, it was more consoling to everyone else to say that it was “god’s will”, rather than acknowledge their own stupidity.

    A common trait in most primitive cultures.



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  • 9
    SomersetJohn says:

    Several commenters have connected this atrocity with Islam which, as far as I can see is not warranted. The mention of caste in the original BBC report would suggest that the victims might be Hindu. It is not often I reject a chance to attack the steaming pile of ordure that is the”Religion of Peace”, but I do feel the victims in this case deserve to have the correct primitive tribal superstition excoriated.



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  • “The mention of caste in the original BBC report would suggest that the victims might be Hindu.”

    I’m afraid atheists aren’t outstandingly intelligent or well-informed. Why would they need to be? The God Hypothesis is transparently silly. I expect there are just as many Islamophobes among atheists as in the general population.



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  • SomersetJohn Jul 6, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Several commenters have connected this atrocity with Islam which, as far as I can see is not warranted. The mention of caste in the original BBC report would suggest that the victims might be Hindu.

    The BBC report on my link is a different incident, but a similar irrational superstitious belief, bringing social pressure on relatives of victims.

    The OP quotes “The Independent” and the “Express Tribune newspaper”.

    There do seem to be some obscure quotes:-

    @OP link : a young woman was reportedly beaten to death by a Muslim holy man who was trying to “exorcise demons” from her.

    @OP – her family decided to take her to a local pir, or Sufi elder, who they believed could confront “the demons tormenting her”.

    Sufi masters do seem to be Islamic teachers, although I find the language in materials I have searched to be obscure.



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  • I regard fear of the ideals and practices of Islam as thoroughly rational, so would you say I was an ‘islamophobe’?

    ‘I’m afraid atheists aren’t outstandingly intelligent or well-informed.’ – Perhaps not and, then again, perhaps… Are you offering yourself as an exemplar?



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  • 13
    Bob Springsteen says:

    There is a story found in the hadith where the Prophet exorcised a boy of mass possession (Ahmad al Masnad, Vol.4, P.170).



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  • The exorcism in Pakistan was ‘Islamic’ and the “honour killings” in India were ‘Hindu’, presumably. They are both examples of practices which, like many other barbarous traditions, are claimed to be sanctioned by religion by those who carry them out. Educated religious believers usually deny that their religion justifies the superstitious views of the uneducated.



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  • 15
    inquisador says:

    Educated religious believers usually deny that their religion justifies the superstitious views of the uneducated.

    This is a common misconception of the educated but ignorant who fail to understand just how truly superstitious and deranged religion can be.



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