A self-styled fortuneteller and three of her clients are on trial after one of the women resorted to witchcraft to prevent her husband from having a second marriage.
Rabat – Four women are on trial at the Court of First Instance of Sale, next to Morocco’s capital city, for witchcraft and attempting to desecrate a grave.
According to Moroccan newspaper Assabah, the trial comes after three of the women traveled from Fez to Sale in order to seek consultation from an alleged shawafa, meaning clairvoyant or fortuneteller in Moroccan Arabic. One of the women hoped to prevent her husband from having a second marriage.
The shawafa, who worked out of a hair salon in the district of Sidi Moussa, allegedly guided the three women to a cemetery between Rabat and Sale where they intended to bury objects including locks of hair, socks, and undergarments.
A cemetery guard alerted the police after witnessing the four women’s suspicious activity in the cemetery.
Police summoned the husband of the woman who sought the shawafa’s services. He declined to file a complaint against the witchcraft practices targeting him.
The women involved in the incident were taken into police custody. The shawafa, meanwhile, was directly detained at Al Arjat 1 prison in Sale for “recidivism of witchcraft activities and grave desecration.”
Although the practice of witchcraft is illegal in Morocco and considered anti-Islamic, there are still a number of people who resort to the practice hoping to solve issues pertaining to love, marriage, fertility, and mental health.
Some women who hope to resolve issues related to sex or marriage may resort to spiritual consultation through a shawafa. In certain circumstances, women are advised to bring undergarments to a witch doctor who will take the women to abandon their underwear at shrines or burial sites as a symbolic act to change the woman’s fortune.
Shawafas also use other talisman, herbs, and supernatural practices to ward off djinns (spirits) and predict the future.
Read also: Witchcraft in Morocco: A day with Shawafa