A Saudi Raqi (religious healer) raped a girl who visited him for treatment of a psychological illness after misleading her into believing her womb was haunted by the jinn (spirits), a newspaper reported on Monday.
The Raqi in the capital Riyadh told the girl he has the powers to exorcise jinns in one session if she accepts his recipe at his home.
Once the girl, whose age was not specified, surrendered to the man, he raped her, causing her to lose virginity, 'Arar' Arabic language daily said.
Police arrested the Raqi after the girl realised her mistake and reported him despite his threats to expose her if she resorts to the police.
“He told her that her womb was haunted by the jinn and that he wanted to exorcise them,” the report quoted the police as stating.
The paper said social networks in Saudi Arabia went viral in reaction to the crime and that hundreds of readers slammed both the Raqi and the girl.
“It appears our society is still living in the dark ages…almost every sin and vice are practiced under the cover of religion…we would like to ask the justice and interior ministries: shouldn’t the Raqi considered a sorcerer, who must be punished,” said Souad Al Shammari, a prominent Saudi activist.
But another reader, Sarah Al Waleed, had a completely different opinion. “The woman who simply surrenders herself to a Raqi claiming to have such powers is stupid.”
A reader identified as Dalal agreed by saying:”Why blaming only the Raqi…how could such a stupid girl allow this man to do this to her.”