witch hunt

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witch hunt

An attempt to blame and punish people who hold unpopular views and opinions, often under the guise of some other investigation. The ruling party's witch hunt against its detractors sparked a civil war.
See also: hunt, witch

witch hunt

a campaign directed against a person or group holding unorthodox or unpopular views.
The expression was inspired by the persecution in former times of people believed to be witches, often culminating in execution by burning.
See also: hunt, witch
References in periodicals archive ?
While the East Java witch-hunts have long been linked to a political conspiracy, Herriman presents compelling evidence to show that, at least in Banyuwangi, local beliefs about magic and mundane disputes between community members provided the primary impetus for the killing of alleged scorers.
Pushing aside the social matters of the Republican People's Party (CHP) for a moment, the Welfare Party (RP) was the target of witch-hunts in the 1990s.
It is now up to the Supreme Court to rule on the matter, which could land Cyprus in trouble with the ECB and cause further embarrassment to the president, who had unwisely joined the parties' witch-hunt.
THERE is a sick mentality in the world that demands scapegoats and feeds witch-hunts.
The sustained effort of the Holy Office to persuade the secular courts in the trilingual Swiss territories north of the Alps, known as the Grisons, to adopt a more moderate, tolerant approach toward accused witches, especially during a severe witch-hunt in 1654-55, met with only limited success.
In an interview with the Press Association, he said: "I think the directors are showing brass neck nerve in the light of these findings of a very thorough and painstaking report to suggest that it is a whitewash or a witch-hunt, when the finger of blame and responsibility points so clearly at them.
In what follows, I discuss the witch-hunts in Africa, examining their motivations and suggesting some initiatives that feminists can take to put an end to these persecutions.
Rationalists regard witchcraft beliefs as resulting from delusion and the witch-hunt a deliberate attempt by the Church to crack down on dissidence for its own benefit; romanticists contend that witchcraft practices and alleged sabbats, or covens, were historically true and represented a perennial pagan resistance to Christian belief and practices; and social scientists depict the witch-hunt as a product of enormous social strain at a time of dramatic change.
Studies into Scottish witch-hunting include Christina Larner's much revered Enemies of God: the Witch-Hunt in Scotland (1981) and the more recent Julian Goodare (ed.
There should not be a witch-hunt in schools because of people's political views.
In the last phase of the European witch-hunt, prosecutions focused increasingly on children instead of old women, regardless of their social status.
In 1951, during the McCarthy witch-hunt, Donald Webster Cory's hardcover book The Homosexual in America appeared, the first in America with that word in its title, "so people will have to say it to purchase a copy or check it out at a library," he once told me.
Its constantly expanding role was a tribute to the genius of the Republican right and its ability to persuade millions of Americans that Starr's mission wasn't the witch-hunt it truly was.
Wertham inspired a congressional witch-hunt that killed EC's famous horror series.