Apparently, attacks on "witches" — and perhaps belief that witches exist — seem to be growing at quite an alarming rate. Women and children are the main victims (of course), and the view that the accused are dangerous and in need of brutal destruction seems to be spreading.

The NYT has published a really interesting op-ed on the subject. It's quite sensitive to both the western temptation to ridicule other cultures instead of trying to understand them, and to the fact that violence against women is sometimes disguised in the ways a culture allows — whether that be by calling her a witch or a whore or whatever.

It's really fascinating: The Persecution of Witches, 21st-Century Style.

On a personal note, my brother-in-law, who is from a country in West Africa, once told my sister about the witches in his country. She responded by talking about the Salem witch trials, as a form of, I don't know, sharing and national commiseration. His response? "Oh! That's why America doesn't have the problem with witches that we do! You already killed them!"