WITCH-HUNTING BRIGADE

Region/Concept: Middle East, Myth
Sub-Concepts: Discipline, Inquisition, Magic, Evil, Otherworldliness
Description: Saudi Arabian police force creates special unit for tracking witches.

If every codification of a law gives rise to the temptation and transgressive possibility of breaking that same law, then it should be no surprise that every totalitarian structure will give rise to a magical underground. The disciplinary severity of the surface always necessitates the opening of a subterranean world of non-conformism, heresy, and criminal superstition. Moreover, those who would hold the reins of power are aware of this inevitable outcome: thus the paranoiac urgency with which they stalk down and raid any semblance of witches, sorcerers, fortune-tellers, and subversive healers. Let them take the capital cities of empires; the others will take to the remote provinces, the forest hideouts, the jungles, the chasms, and the sand dunes. Let them take the official language of the center; the others will take the illegitimate counter-language of rumor, legend, fairy-tale, and occult whisper. Inquisitions are never the intended suppression but rather the breeding-ground of evil formulations (to forbid is to invite proliferation). If anything, this is the logical motion of enchantment itself: accusation, judgment, sentencing (some burned, stoned, or beheaded), followed by an inescapable supernatural backlash. Those who would build finite worlds will be met increasingly by those who desire nothing more than otherworldliness.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/08/saudi-arabias-war-on-witchcraft/278701/

Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh