Naked African Sorceress Arrested in Saudi Arabia

Arab News has a true crime report entitled, “Naked ‘Sorceress’ Falls From the Sky.”

Members of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice received a call of a suspected African “sorceress” in the holy city’s Al-Seeh neighborhood. Members of the committee along with police went to the suspected den of the black arts to find a naked African woman. Embarrassed about busting into an apartment containing a naked woman, police paused just long enough for the woman to attempt an escape, still naked, through the window of her flat. Police followed in pursuit to discover that the woman had crashed through the ceiling of the neighbor’s flimsy house and landed on the floor next to a bed of sleeping children. The woman was arrested, but not before she was provided some dignity in the form of clothing.

Some mighty gentlemenly folks on the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. But, then, what else would you expect?

via Rusty Shackleford, who entitles the story “Naked Witch Arrested in Saudi Arabia.” I’m not sure of the technical distinction between a sorceress and a witch, let alone whether they would survive translation. Nonetheless, there seems to be a consensus that the woman was naked. No photos were available.

Gone Hollywood

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He's a widower and father of two young daughers. He earned his PhD from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Moe Lane says:

    This would be a great deal more amusing if it weren’t for the fact that the woman’s probably going to be executed.


  2. James Joyner says:

    You’ve got a point, Moe.


  3. Anderson says:

    I was thinking along Moe’s lines, plus that a good way to react when your wife/wives walk in on you with your African prostitute is to cry out, “Where did SHE come from??? Help! It’s a sorceress!”

    I mean, what are they going to do? Deny the existence of sorceresses? Isn’t that a capital offense in itself?


  4. John Burgess says:

    That story was too weird for me to blog!

    But the woman won’t be executed; she’ll be deported.

    “Sorcery”, in the Saudi context, has tended to mean “Sufi”, though it also includes a wide array of African and Arabic pagan witchcraft.

    The Saudis are now making nice with the Sufis. (See Saudis Make Peace with Sufism for details.)

    But I confess that I do like Anderson’s creativity!


  5. wom says:

    This is kind of funny. I’ve never heard of stuff like this in my life going on in Saudi. I think under Al-Sharee’a, sorcery and witchcraft are capital offenses.


  6. Anderson says:

    Thanks for the pointer on the Sufis in Arabia, John. I had assumed they were considered heretics by the Saudi regime.