Beat your demons away

In the slums of Khanewal, Pakistan, the poor and indigent who suffer from treatable illnesses are sent, often by physicians wishing to unload their patients, to the Islamic equivalent of exorcists. They are called Pirs (or Peers), meaning “old man”, and these “saints” often perform barbaric torture rituals they believe can clean people of djinns, or demons.

One victim of their archaic stupidity was a woman suffering from asthma by the name of Zakia. She was taken to a famous local Pir called Safdar Khan, who proceeded to tie her up, sticking a hot poker through her wrists and feet while she howled in agony. He then beat her mercilessly until she stopped moving. This, to Safdar, was proof that the demon had been driven out.

Zakia is now bed ridden and can no longer walk. Her brother Zain – outraged that his superstitious idiot parents would take her to such a charlatan – knows that the police will do nothing to help him. As far as everyone is concerned, Safdar is a respected holy man whose words carry much weight. Zain, on the other hand, is just another unimportant peasant whose story will be forgotten in a few days.

The police know there was no other way which is why they haven’t said anything and the doctors come to us regularly for such things,” he said. Shani said that Safdar often ‘treated’ patients who had been referred to him by hospital officials.

“They always send us the cases that they know are for us. The possessed people are treated here. That is why the doctors will never go against us. Safdar is one of the most famous healers in this city,” he said.

Of course, if you think that’s the worst thing that can happen to you when going to get “exorcised”, you’re in for a horrible surprise:

In Notak Nasheb Sainghar, Pir Javed Shah broke into Shehzadi Bibi’s house late at on Friday night and told her that her house was haunted by ‘evil’ djinns who were causing her daughters to fall sick.

Shah gave Shehzadi and her daughters glasses of water that had been drugged and the family fell unconscious. Javed Shah repeatedly raped Shehzadi the entire night. When the family woke up the next day and went to the hospital doctors refused to treat her for fear of the djinns.

What a fucking shithole of ignorance, all thanks to the power of faith.

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