On Monday, a supplementary section in The Star carried the story of an Islamic healer, Trimizi Zainal on the front page.

Trimizi is part of an Oxfordshire-based group called Professional Islamic Support and Nurture Group (PISANG), who screens djinn-possessions and black magic among overseas Malay students: sort of a neo-exorcist, if you will. In the article, he wanted to draw attention to “the chillingly high number of Malaysian students found to be under the spell of black magic and djinn”.

What attracted me most is the part where he told the story of the exorcisms themselves. He claimed djinns will speak in the language/accent from where they come from. You know, like in The Exorcism of Emily Rose, where the 6 demons spoke in Aramaic, Hebrew, Latin, Ancient Greek, Deutsch and English?

He gave an example of a djinn that comes from Scotland, which speaks with Scottish accent.

However, he later explained that most of the djinns he has encountered in his 7-year experience speak in Malay. Djinns: Malaysia’s biggest export.

Pardon my skepticism. I am a big fan of the supernatural, but I am absolutely outraged by this same group, which in the same page, had confidently confirmed that Sufiah Yusof was, without a doubt, a victim of black magic, whom they have taken the liberty to heal.

Sufiah Yusof

This is an unscrupulous tactic by me to attract your attention on a serious matter, just like PETA does.

It is my opinion that this claim falls as not only unprofessional—considering the “Professional” in PISANG’s ‘P’—but remains to be totally irresponsible by placating the public with such simplistic and mystic explanation.

Sufiah’s case reads like a classic case of depression, which comes from a dysfunctional family that neglected her mental and social needs, replacing them with exorbitant academic pressure.

At such tender age where other kids are in primary school and playing without a care, she was subjected to her father’s infamous Accelerated Learning Technique, which involved stretching and breathing exercises in freezing rooms to keep her brain attentive.

As a result, she was admitted to Oxford’s St. Hilda’s College when she was 12, with peers that neither understand, nor can relate to her.

Is it any wonder she ran away just after 3 years? Without further guidance, she hopped from job to job, and even settled for a marriage, which failed miserably.

Her father was jailed for sexually assaulting 15 year-old girls while she settled on being a professional escort. In her sensational confession with tabloid News of The World, she claimed that she loves the job for the money and attention she gets, something desired by every girl her age.

Is it so hard to believe that the poor girl broke down and fell from grace, that it has to be explained by black magic or djinn-possession?

Child abuse and academic torture is a serious matter! Its effects on the human’s mental state should not carelessly be attributed to black magic any more than an incest or rape can be explained by orang minyak.

Trimizi claimed that out of 1,200 students screened by him recently in Cairo, 153 were affected by djinn and 114 by black magic. He himself admitted that 48 have suffered from severe stress or depression. How many of those are simply homesick? How many might have been diagnosed for mental illness or breakdown? How about anxiety? Panic attacks?

Mental illness is not easy to tell. You cannot just “screen” them, and straight away decide that people are infected, unlike black magic or possession.

I am not at all excluding djinns or even black magic, anything can happen beyond our understanding. Only God knows all. However, these claims easily condone people to ignore mental disorders and their own neglects.

The next time one of their children suffers from mental breakdown and starts to stray from their path, ignorant parents may just claim that he is a victim of black magic or possessed, and start sending exorcists rather than try to talk and understand his situation.

Parents with children overseas, if you’re reading this, please:


Talk to them. Be there for them. They, most probably, might NOT be victims of black magic OR even djinn-possession.