Apparently Ali Hussain Sabat, a Lebanese TV personality made a trip of religious devotion to Saudi Arabia, where things got a bit nasty. Part of Mr. Sabat’s shtick involved a kind of “Carnak the Magnificent” routine wherein he would dispense sage advice and pretend to read the future for callers. The stuffy Saudi religious police seemed to take a dim view to this self-avowed fortune-teller setting foot in their holy nation, and promptly arrested him. Witchcraft, it seems, is still punishable by death according to the laws of America’s good friend and ally Saudi Arabia. Recently after appeal to Saudi Arabia’s high court, the conviction was upheld. But then, these religious zealots are convinced their most holy artifact is a meteorite cloaked in absurd mythology – which should make us suspicious of their ability to separate reality from fantasy.

Then of course, there’s logic: If Sabat could in fact tell the future, wouldn’t he have known not to go to Saudi Arabia? Or maybe he’s going to be executed for practicing witchcraft, regardless of whether he gets successful results. In the U.S. charlatans like Miss Cleo can be prosecuted for false advertising and deceptive business practices (but not executed). If Saudi Arabia is determined to kill anybody who makes a living by dispensing fanciful supernatural guidance (and there’s no such thing as non-fanciful supernatural guidance) to the masses, then logically they should put all their clerics and Mullahs in the cells adjacent to Mr. Sabat.

But logic is never a good companion to zealotry. The sooner liberal tolerance and science permeates global culture, the better. As for Mr. Sabat, I suspect there’s a good chance global outcry will end up saving his life. However, he’s but one of countless people persecuted not for their own religious beliefs, but because of the imposed beliefs of others.