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Palestinian teen dies in exorcism

A teenage Palestinian girl has died while undergoing an exorcism, a widespread practice in Gaza's environment of poor government control and health education.
FOR RELEASE WITH FEATURE BC-PALESTINIAN-EXORCISM - Ziad al-Tatar, a 38-year-old Palestinian exorcist, uses a Koran placed on a man's chest and readings from the Koran piped through earphones and honey to exorcise a demon from a patient. In his spartan clinic, adorned with framed Koranic verses, Tatar admits to a steady stream of patients stricken with ailments ranging from impotence to infiltration by devils known in Arabic as Djinn.

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — “Are you a male or a female? A Muslim or a nonbeliever? If you are a nonbeliever, raise the index finger of your left hand. If you are a Muslim, raise the index finger of your right hand!” Sheikh Abu Harith screamed the words in Ghada’s ear as she lay in one of the beds in his clinic. He was talking to what he thought was a djinn, a supernatural creature in Islamic tradition, which was possessing her.

He placed a recording device next to her head that played Quranic verses, while her mother and brother stood next to her. Then, Abu Harith asked the djinn to leave Ghada’s body through one of the toes on her left foot. Indeed, her finger moved, though Abu Harith insisted that Ghada was not the one moving her finger, but rather the djinn controlling her body. The girl was still conscious and once she got out of bed, she was asked if she was OK and she nodded.

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