Of all the barbaric, harmful, superstitious nonsense (but I repeat myself) that I saw in 2018, this video ranks near the top.
The footage shows what passes for legal proceedings among some Bedouins — desert-dwelling nomadic Arabs. A person’s guilt or innocence isn’t determined by an investigation, sworn statements, physical evidence, and/or other types of forensics. Because all of that is obviously unnecessary when you can just let Allah decide. How? Build a fire and find an iron paddle. Heat the device until it’s so hot it glows red, then simply have the accused lick it. Three times.
If the defendant’s tongue blackens or blisters, that means guilt. If it doesn’t, innocence (in which case the judges on the Bedouin Bisha’a court, who derive their legitimacy from the first chapter of the Qur’an, will order you to go and embrace the people who accused you, even if they did so falsely and deliberately).
Which raises the question, what year do these people live in? (My calendar says 2019, not 1419; then again, the Islamic calendar is, aptly enough, literally some 600 years behind.)
In Egypt, where this footage was taken, justice by fire is illegal and its practitioners may be jailed. But the members of the Bisha’a council in the video are perfectly at ease with the presence of a foreigner’s camera and don’t appear to have any reservations about answering an interviewer’s questions. It would seem that in Egypt (as in the United States), the faithful can often break the rules without the authorities batting an eye, much less enforcing the law.