In a world where capricious characters seem to acquire more dangerous armaments all the time, consider this: President Zardari of Pakistan, a man who has control over nuclear weapons, sacrifices a goat daily to protect himself from witchcraft. Not only do dozens of nukes exist in a country that could go taliban, but its national leader has a bent toward sorcery.
To ward off evil, Zardari kills one black goat a day, Indian Express, January 28, 2010
A black goat is slaughtered almost daily to ward off 'evil eyes' and protect President Asif Ali Zardari from 'black magic'. Does this, and the use of camel and goat milk, make the beleaguered president appear to be a superstitious man?
Well, not to his spokesman. "It has been an old practice of Mr Zardari to offer sadqa (animal sacrifice). He has been doing this for a long time," spokesman Farhatullah Babar told Dawn on Tuesday.
Oh, he has been performing animal sacrifice for a long time, so that makes the behavior a non-superstition.
But his detractors would see in his new-found religiosity a sign of nervousness in the wake of the scrapping of the NRO.
One thing is certain: Hundreds of black goats have been sacrificed since Zardari moved into the President's House in September 2008. His trusted personal servant Bai Khan buys goats from Saidpur village. The animal is touched by Zardari before it is sent to his private house in F-8/2 to be sacrificed.
Insiders say that when Zardari moved into the President's House, a flock of black partridges were introduced there for their supposedly magical effects.
Unfortunately, the whole flock was electrocuted when a live wire fell on their cage.
A camel, a cow and a few goats kept on the grounds of the presidency, however, survive and provide milk for its worthy resident.
It should be noted that animal sacrifice plays a big part in Islam (see The Virtue of Animal Sacrifice from an Islamic blog).
However the Pakistani newspaper (Dawn) which reported the original item emphasized the superstition aspect: Goats sacrificed 'to ward off evil eyes'. Apparently it's okay to slaughter large numbers of animals to celebrate Eid, a major Islo-holiday, but the black magic thing is a no-no.
No wonder India is nervous about the nukes held by its unfriendly neighbor. Although Indians are not strangers to superstition, at least there's no indication that India's Prime Minister Singh uses animal sacrifice to fend off evil sorcery.