Things they’d have difficulty believing in Salt Lake City XVIII

15 06 2008

The week in fundie:

  1. In Tanzania, albinos used to be the object of simple persecution, for much the same mindless and irrational reasons that such people would be ostracised anywhere in the world: because of their physical appearance. Now, because of a belief across Africa that albinos have magical powers, and because witchdoctors are promoting the belief that potions containing albino skin, bones and hair can make people wealthy, albinos are being hunted for their body parts. The New York Times reports one such case:

    The young are often the targets. In early May, Vumilia Makoye, 17, was eating dinner with her family in their hut in western Tanzania when two men showed up with long knives.Vumilia was like many other Africans with albinism. She had dropped out of school because of severe near-sightedness, a common problem for albinos, whose eyes develop abnormally and who often have to hold things like books or cellphones two inches away to see them. She could not find a job because no one would hire her. She sold peanuts in the market, making $2 a week while her delicate skin was seared by the sun.

    When Vumilia’s mother, Jeme, saw the men with knives, she tried to barricade the door of their hut. But the men overpowered her and burst in.

    “They cut my daughter quickly,” she said, making hacking motions with her hands.

    The men sawed off Vumilia’s legs above the knee and ran away with the stumps. Vumilia died.

    The article also refers to the murder in Kenya of an albino woman, whose eyes, tongues and breasts were gouged out. This is where magical thinking can lead, people. It can lead to superstitious thugs breaking down the door of your house and hacking your children to death. (HT: Dogma Free America. See also The Standard.) Read the rest of this entry »