Beating a child to "question" Jinn is insane and cruel

Irrational, delusional beliefs are always unjustifiable and aren't always harmless. Such beliefs can and do lay the foundation that lead people to do insane and terrible things. It was with shock and horror that I read yesterday of the news story on Haveeru Daily website about a group of people in Haa Alifu atoll Baarah island that beat a sick child on the palms and sole of the feet with an eakle broom a few days ago in order to "question the Jinn" on the outcome of the local council elections that was to take place yesterday.

The people of the island apparently believed that the child was "possessed by the Jinn" and believed, as many Maldivians do, that they could access "future knowledge" through the supernatural super-awesome powers possessed by the Jinn. It matters not that the child most certainly suffers from some mental or psychological affliction and probably could be cured or managed by medicine! It matters not that it is entirely unethical, immoral and down right cruel to torture a sick child!

Shouldn't the title of the article in Haveeru read "ވޯޓުގެ ނަތީޖާ ހޯދުމުގެ ނަމުގައި ބާރަށުގައި ކުޑަކުއްޖަކަށް އަނިޔާކޮށްފި" rather than "ވޯޓުގެ ނަތީޖާ ހޯދުމަށް ބާރަށުގައި ޖިންނިއާއި ސުވާލުކޮށްފި"?

Shouldn't the people involved be charged with child abuse?!

And here dwelleth 300,000 invisible beings

Most Maldivians are by now familiar with the drama unfolding in Makunudhoo. It has been on the news a lot and has been blogged about a lot but photos haven't been very forthcoming - well, except for a blurred image on Haveeru Daily and a photo stolen from my Flickr stream published on Miadhu News. So here are some images of the historic Makunudhoo School where Man and Jinn live side by side and study side by side, though not always in harmony as has been revealed. The school may replace the island's currently most famous landmark: the residential ruins of the infamous Bodufenvalhugey Seedhee (known for various supposed supernatural feats such as "walking on water" between islands, "helping" the infertile conceive etc) including its "teleportation well".

And yes, in case you wonder, it is ridiculous to believe this is a battle between invisible Jinn and humans, especially when there are good explanations.

Enjoy... stand awed.

Possessed by demons: A true story

Since I wrote about Jinns in my last post, I thought I'd follow up with this...

While at the Centre For Higher Secondary Education (Male', Maldives), I heard of this student who supposedly had been possessed by a jinn/demon and had to spend three months away from school. The school newspaper (called "CentrEye"), for which I was the editor then, immediately took an interest in getting his experiences published (we knew it would be a bit hit - our front page story!). He narrated everything in detail, right from the time that the demon Jinn started harassing him, how the demon eventually took possession of his body and the experiences that he was subjected to and how he came out of it all.

I had listened intently as he recalled the events and we shot questions to clear up this and that. The guy was very sincere in his belief in the events that had happened and had a pretty coherent story to tell. He was in almost all respects the normal sort of guy - friendly, kind and very entertaining. I was very much intrigued by the tale, especially since I was then pretty much accepting of the possibility of the existence of these so-called "supernatural beings"...

His experiences were published in 3 instalments, beginning with the Feb 2001 issue of the paper. Credits go to the original writers - the first instalment was written by Afu but the rest were written by the possessed himself. Here is the first 2 with the original text and has been converted to a PDF with some formatting applied for looks. I can't find the 3rd part but will put up when/if I find it...

- Possessed by Demons: A true story (Part 1)
- Possessed by Demons: A true story (Part 2)