Trial Underway in Islamic Exorcism Case

When Arfart Ali married  Shugfta Nehar in 2015, he soon became disenchanted with the way his parents treated his new wife "like a slave."    After announcing to his family that he and his wife would be moving out of their extended home in southwest Sydney, Australia, his entire family apparently became concerned that Ali had been cursed with "black magic" by his wife's family.   To rid their son of this evil, they flew in preacher Riza Morinaj from his home in Melbourne to conduct an Islamic purification ritual.   The 37-year-old Morinaj, whose day job involves running a date juice company, reportedly told the family that he could purify Ali in a ceremony that would be carried out in the family home.  

On November 5,while the family was gathered for a birthday party, Morinaj and a second man, 44-year-old Ali Oulmakhzen, restrained Ali on a bed and applied suction cup to his back.   After Ali struggled, Morinaj took a razor blade and made "five to six cuts" to Ali's back.    He reportedly told Ali that "“I’m drawing out the blood and after I recite the Koran, black blood’s gonna come out and that’s the evil.”   He then started reciting verses from the Koran and continued for fifteen minutes while keeping his fingers on Ali's eyes to hold them closed.   Afterward, he removed the suction cups and wiped Ali down.

Morinaj and Oulmakhzen have both been charged with causing bodily harm and are being held without bail.   They both face court in January.

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