The cowardly head hackers are now killing street magicians

I don’t think David Copperfield will be doing any shows in Syria anytime soon.

ISIS it appears has run out of gays and journalists to kill and is now hacking the heads off street magicians.

The Islamic State is no stranger to attacking civilians. Recently, though, they’ve been targeting not only gay people and journalists but also subversive magicians. Earlier this month, reports emerged of a street performer who was beheaded in a public square in the city of Raqqa, Syria, the capital of the Islamic State.

The illusionist, who went by the moniker “Sorcerer,” was known for entertaining locals with innocuous magic tricks like making coins and cell phones disappear. According to UK tabloid the Daily Mirror, he was charged with “creating illusions and falsehood” deemed offensive to Islam and was sentenced to death by beheading. An activist who recently fled Raqqa and was familiar with Sorcerer told the Mirror that the magician was a popular performer who simply entertained locals: “He was just called ‘Sorcerer’ by people, and children loved him. He was doing nothing anti-Islamic but he paid for it with his life.”

The Islamic State has been cracking down on all forms of magic. The video below was released in July by the organization’s media arm and shows a man from Aleppo moments before he is beheaded for sorcery. Another propaganda video shows militants scouring a so-called “sorcerer’s nest” for books about magic and declaring that the appropriate penalty is to be struck by a sword.   

Clearly, the Islamic State does not take the threat of supernatural forces lightly. To understand why seemingly harmless street magicians are being lumped in with supposed satanic, spell-casting sorcerers, VICE spoke to Adam Silverstein, professor of Abrahamic religions at Tel Aviv’s Bar-Ilan University and author of Islamic History: A Very Short Introduction. He is also a magician and member of the Magic Circle, a UK-based organization dedicated to “promoting and advancing the art of magic.”

According to Silverstein, the root of this problem is largely semantic. “The Arabic word for ‘magic’ is sihr—pronounced with a guttural H—and in the Qur’an it means ‘magic’ in the sense of ‘black magic,’ but in modern Arabic the same word is used for ‘entertaining magic,'” Silverstein explained. “That can lead to unfortunate confusions that can, very occasionally, have serious consequences for magicians in the Muslim world.

Chapter 2, verse 102 [of the Qur’an] specifically states that it is ‘the Satans’ who teach magic,” he said. “Seeing as how sihr is associated with ‘the Satans,’ it would not surprise me at all if some in the Muslim world associate sihr—even of the entertainment sort—with threatening forces.”

Notice how the gutless cowards doing this all cover their faces. What are they afraid of?

What sort of religion is frightened of street entertainers?

A religion of peace?

The carnage is appalling.


– VICE News


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  • Cadwallader

    I do not expect Cirque du Soleil will be doing ME tours this year. Islamos are a bunch of humourless weirdos which too much time on their hands.

    • Tippex

      Blood on their hands, to boot.

  • Cowgirl

    I can only assume that since they don’t respect the laws of the land, are so righteous and justified in their actions, and don’t fear us or our justice systems, that the face masks are so that allah doesn’t recognise them. Oh, wait…..

  • steve and monique

    Stop immigration from these backward bunch of mongrels NOW. We dont need this kind of crap invading our country.

    • Albert Lane

      I believe that if we had a referendum on this matter, the problem would be quickly resolved. No more muslim immigration. There are about 57 muslim countries, and they should be required to accept (and assimilate) muslim refugees from other countries. I believe that none of them do this. All refugee assimilation is western in origin.

      • steve and monique

        Agree, there needs to be a referendum, and quick smart too. Think we could do it for that rather then one for the flag.

  • Korau

    Winston Churchill said “We are in the presence of a crime without a name.”

    Today he would have said “We are in the presence of a crime called Islam”.

  • 1951

    ….and someone here want to change Kiwisaver rules to accommodate this backward way of thinking…?

    • intelligentes candida diva

      Can you tellme more 1951, I will write to them …no way

      • 1951

        refer General Debate/Papillon’s comment.

      • Albert Lane

        Todays NZ Herald has an article about Kiwisaver having a special account for muslim investment, with the assurance that the money will not be invested in the alcohol industry and a few others. As islam prohibits its followers from imposing interest rates on investments, I hope that they won’t actually earn any money from the investments the fund will make. As if.

  • Papillon

    So I guess we’ll soon see, that as well as our kids being unable to celebrate all things Christmas, like saying Merry Christmas replaced with seasons greetings, there will a ban on entertainers of the magical variety in schools, fairs…

  • sandalwood789

    As usual, every NZ politician will ignore this.

    • OneTrack

      Because that would be “rayyyyyyyyysist”

  • bristol

    Arab proverb, “If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow.”

    • OneTrack

      His head and neck is in the tent in New Zealand.

  • intelligentes candida diva

    I agree they are gutless cowards because they wear masks.
    They have lost all sense of decency,… ..what a grim world they create.

    Went to a park last night to be entertained by street entertainers, it was family oriented relaxing and a happy time for all.
    I actually looked around and thought what a happy relaxed group, this is what NZ democracy affords us ….freedom to be outdoors with family sharing food and talking, being carefree.
    It is this type of event that would have been in Syria While the immediate horror is the individual, I think what assaults to the senses for the families and locals.

    Prevention is better than the cure for NZ.

    These destructive murderous heathens are removing talented and good people how dare they but they do dare knowing no one is REALLY stopping them.
    Only updates I could find on coalition forces involvement

    • 1951

      Actually when you pause to think, would these evil people ever have taken hold if those millions of refugees now holed-up on the boarders had stood their ground and said NO. I’m sure I read somewhere last night that some from the Egyptian Forces defending their boarders, turned on their own and joined ISIS. There is something seriously wrong with the moral structure of these people.We have to look at our immigration policy and we have to do a double-check on what hold the UN has over us. They have to be answerable for much of the current situation.

      • intelligentes candida diva

        I totally agree and two aspects that are striking me as a pattern in my mind are
        1 After these type of terror imposing events an imam or three comes out with “tangle me a web”/manipulative rhetoric and
        2 Any protests or discussion the Islamic followers and enforcers of the sharia dictator system participate in they all, speak with confident affirmative statements of Islamic rule, its the optimistic psyche.
        We need to sharpen up and define our parameters and via legislation is a good starting point

        I will not refer to sharia as”law” because its not my law, its a system with a set of rules to be obeyed or else you die or get savaged in some undignified way……no law in NZ I know of yet and I would expect a referendum for the people to have a voice if any consideration to such was considered….God forbid.

        • 1951

          We have to make a stand now. We are no longer dependent as we once were on Middle Eastern trade to keep the economy afloat. We can ‘shout& be heard’ with our new standing around the table at the World’s meeting-house. Someone has to call ‘The king has no clothes’ The barbarism has to be Stopped.

          • intelligentes candida diva

            Agreed 1951 and at a meso and micro level we can be heard. NZ can put its own laws in place and at a micro level anyone can start a petition which can be effective when managed respectfully, resulting in the very least the public talking and thinking….thinking a good antidote to apathy

          • 1951

            Good antidote to apathy?………..the damned useless/biased media are failing yet again in their responsibilities. The 2min attention span of its subscribers are equally as bad. If these type of You-tube clips were played as frequently as Green Party political broad-casts were on the 6pm news the maddening crowd would soon wake-up & demand action.

        • OneTrack

          You might expect a referendum. I wouldn’t count on you getting it. Did the people and the UK get a vote before their areas were set up?

          • intelligentes candida diva

            Well the government is to serve its people so yes I do count on and expect given I am a NZ citizen.I refuse to succumb to apathy.

            I have a fire in my belly to stand up for my rights and beliefs and I wish more NZers who oppose sharia would also its apathy and the resultant lack of action that enables these types of systems to eat into already established systems of operating.

          • JMC7

            As appalling as the events depicted here are, I have to call out this one comment by you, OneTrack. There may very well be attempts to impose Sharia in the UK at some stage but it is simply not true that there are areas in the UK where Sharia Law presides. I lived in East London for the last 25 years until last year, one of the areas with the highest concentrations of Muslims in Europe, and can tell you categorically that there are no areas where ordinary Brits can’t walk or carry on with their normal lives.

            I know there was some nonsense last year where some youths tried to intimidate women about how they dressed but, and this is very important, the fact they were found and prosecuted suggests that far from accepting it, the police and authorities actively rejected and opposed the attempt to impose Sharia.

            Radical Islam is a problem alright, but perpetuating a factual error just gets in the way.

    • OneTrack

      “this is what NZ democracy affords us ….freedom to be outdoors with family sharing food and talking, being carefree.”

      Will that still be true when the first Sharia Law zones are set up in New Zealand?

      • intelligentes candida diva

        If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.
        What are you doing to oppose any set up or do you condone it through apathy?

  • Genevieve

    Watch out Harry Potter! Of course, children in that part of the world would never be allowed to view a movie like that. This man was providing fun and entertainment to children in the streets.
    Can you imagine how suffocatingly restrictive life must be for the children in ISIS dominated countries?

  • Boris Piscina

    Just nuke the b*****ds.

    • 1951

      You know 5 hrs ago when you wrote this, I thought not worth contemplating. Now they have taken out that totally helpless & harmless Japanese, Kenji Goto, I feel like running in and pressing that red button to do just that.
      Edit: full name.

      • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

        Remember those 2 nuclear bombs unleashed over Japan.
        They each killed hundreds of thousands.

        They also saved the lives of perhaps five million Allied troops.
        And judging by the death-ratios earlier in the war they probably saved the lives of twenty to fifty million Japanese civilians.

  • OneTrack

    Just another Lone Wolf ™?

  • Tom

    What do you expect in the living dark age?

  • intelligentes candida diva

    I only just viewed the video I was nervous to and it was as expected. My gut wrenched for that man as he sat there pending the end.

    May angels go to greet him and carry his spirit back to a safe resting place

    I grieve for us as a race, I want to go back to being an innocent child when the world seemed big, unknown and greater was the beauty of immersing oneself into different cultures …..having a despondent moment after that viewing

    • pak

      Me also. I am becoming increasingly pessimistic over the relentless march of islam into our lives with for example the egregious halalification of so much of our food, and recent launch of the islamic kiwisaver fund. They clearly believed there was a sufficient market in New Zealand already for such a vehicle. And yet any voices speaking up seemed to get lost in the wind.

    • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

      But there are cultures and cultures, “culture” and culture.
      Some think of folk dance and music etc. as culture – they are simply customs.

      Culture is a collective world-view, it moulds the way its adherents view others and themselves, their expectations of this life and of eternity, and therefore it deeply affects how they conduct themselves.

      We are not in a race-war, we are in a clash of cultures.
      And as an illustration of this, if a middle-eastern person becomes a follower of Christ they have not changed race but they certainly undergo a complete and drastic change of culture.

      • intelligentes candida diva

        I understand the concept but thanks for elaborating as there maybe many who do not, perhaps I ought to have been more explicit?

  • When enough people have been slaughtered, the world will decide to act.
    Will it be too late?

  • Je Suis Charlie – Respect!!

    My heart sinks every time i see the barbaric measures these butchers resort to to get their poisonous message across. They rule with fear not compassion or even try to understand different points of view. Why do they allow this sort of thing to happen – moderate muslims i am asking you.

  • BloodyOrphan

    The real world spells and rituals of the Quran are “Black Magic”, which makes every Muslim a Sorcerer.

    Terrorism is a form of black magic as well.

    Magic can be termed any action that endeavours to change the thinking of other people.
    Islams main method of achieving this is Fear, which makes the Quran a book of black magic and sorcery.

  • Cadwallader

    Serious thought: Did Darwin study Islam? The filth pretending to be a religion represents a break in the train of evolutionary enlightenment. Surely the barbarity of these bastards was known in his day?

  • wooted

    Notice that fundamentalists invariably become Fun Police.

    • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

      That is how they get their fun.

  • Nechtan

    I reckon they wear masks so as not to get recognised through the scope attached to a .338 Lapua.