When the popular 46-year-old Lebanese psychic Ali Sibat went on-air and made his predictions about the future, the phone lines of the satellite television station Sheherazade used to be flooded with calls.
But what the star psychic probably did not predict was that his claims to supernatural prowess would land him a death sentence.
“He was the most popular psychic on the channel,” the Lebanese news agency Naharnet quoted Sibat’s lawyer May Khansa as saying. “The number of callers, including from all over the gulf, spiked in number when he appeared.”
As much as I abhor phony psychics taking advantage of credulous people, they don’t deserve a death sentence for it. While I’d love to see the U.S. government did a better job of cracking down on these conmen and promising harsher penalties, obviously this goes too far and for the wrong reasons. This guy isn’t getting punished because he’s taking advantage of people but because a superstitious backward society thinks he has some kind of magical powers that he couldn’t possibly possess.
On Nov. 9, Sibat was given a death sentence by a Mecca court for allegedly practicing witchcraft.
Sibat’s fate is common in Saudi Arabia.
Scores of alleged witch doctors, fortunetellers, and black magicians each year are dragged through the Saudi courts, including Fawza Falih, who’s been on death row since 2006 for witchcraft.
Her accusers include a man who claims the 51-year-old, illiterate Falih is the reason for his impotence.