Emirati Police Urged to Act against 'Demon Parties'

Published May 17th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

UAE's Fatwa Committee urged police Tuesday to take action against illegal "Zar" parties in which demons and spirits are invoked, reported the Gulf News daily. The daily quoted head of the Fatwa Committee Sheikh Abdul Wahab Al Mashhadani as saying that people who attend these parties commit blasphemy.  

Zar parties are gatherings in which men and women dance to the rhythmic beat of drums and slip into a trance as they summon demons and spirits to find peace of mind or solve personal problems.  

These parties are often held in the homes of couples who have marital problems. Some childless couples ask spirits to give them a child when medical science has failed. Some people call on "greater demons" to free those possessed by "lesser spirits."  

"People chant and dance as if they are suffering from convulsions," he was quoted as saying.  

He told the daily that he urged clergymen to write Friday Prayer speeches, which spread the message that Zar parties are unislamic.  

Even more disturbing is the fact that the younger generation falls prey to this superstition, he said.  

The parties are held late at night and drumbeats shatter the peace and disturb the neighbors.  

He urged people to contact the police if a Zar party disturbs them, added the daily - Albawaba.com 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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