Saudi morality police turn witch hunters
RIYADH, June 6 (Reuters) Saudi Arabia's powerful morality police is launching a witch hunt in the birthplace of Islam.
The Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is setting up special centres in all cities to ''register complaints on sorcerers and charlatans, track them and terminate them'', the authority's chief Sheikh Ibrahim bin Abdallah al-Ghaith told al-Madinah newspaper.
Islam forbids magic and practicing it is considered blasphemy.
Saudi newspapers often report incidents involving so-called sorcerers, mainly from the Indian subcontinent and Africa.
Some Saudis pay them vast amounts of money, hoping to uncover hidden treasures or get jobs, according to the papers.
The religious police have wide powers in Saudi Arabia, which imposes a strict version of Sunni Islam, to prevent the spread of drugs, alcohol and prostitution as well as stop unrelated men and women mixing in public.
Reuters SK VP0408