Note: Read some important parts of Shaikh Abdol-Hamid’s talk with the official Iranian news agency (ISNA) about the Iranian Sunnis, Iranian politics, Muslim world and women’s rights:
*I always prefer the national interest, then the interests of the Sunni community [of Iran].
*Some [officials] may postpone the order of the supreme leader [about Sunnis’ rights], but it is as clear as all should focus on it.
*I think the both powerful wings; “reformists” and “principlists” should change their attitude. The principlists should attract the pleasure of common people.
*The reformists should focus on the demands of the whole nation, ethnic and religious communities and Sunnis who supported them in elections.
*All communities and the nation want changes. These changes should take place in order to bring people to polling stations once again.
*Sunni youth should seek knowledge and education. If they get any chance, they will serve their country, the region and even the entire world.
*Sunnis of Iran have not enjoyed many opportunities to get experience. But the experienced members of the Sunni community have also been rejected.
*Posts and duties should be distributed on merit.
*We are against violence and extremism. We follow up our problems by reasoning and logic. We believe that we can obtain our rights by law and correct ways of negotiation.
*Some sides expected to see us acting radically, but we always forbid people from extremism and violence.
*Praise be to Allah, ISIS could not infiltrate in Baluchistan of Iran because of the vigilance of Sunnis. They have been threatening us for a while; they think we are obstacles on the way of their influence. However, we rely on Allah. Most of these threats come from outside.
*God willing the extremists will realize a day that our way is correct. Now probably many of them have come to know they are on wrong side.
*It is my religious duty to stand before extremism as much as I can. Muslims and the Islamic world have incurred many losses from extremism.
*Iran should not be insecure by ethnic and intellectual contentions. We want to follow up the case of our demands in a peaceful atmosphere.
*The door of negotiation is not closed before any country to get rid of problems. Interfering in domestic affairs of others is inappropriate for Muslim and non-Muslim states.
*The people of Iraq, Syria and Yemen could sit together and resolve their problems. By realizing the rights of minorities they could have a different situation.
*I support dialogue and negotiation in the issue of Kurdistan region of Iraq. If the central governments focused on the rights of Kurds in Iraq, we have not seen intentions for separation.
*Sistan-Baluchistan is a poor region, but not because it is free of natural and strategic resources; it has land and sea borders, agriculture, animal husbandry and other resources. It just needs a correct exploitation.
*Where ever discrimination rules, illiteracy and poverty get birth; by removing discriminations our province will not need any official aid. Uprooting discrimination is the most important work which should be carried out by the government.
*The rights of women should be given to them. We have a free hostel for female students here (at Darululoom Zahedan) for the girls from rural areas.
*I think women should seek knowledge and get education by taking care of Islamic dressing.
*Islam is a great religion with recommendations for any time, if there is no any forbiddance according to Islam, we should engage women and utilize their capabilities.
*We recommended Mr. Rouhani to enroll Sunni and women ministers in his cabinet. Such acts will change the view of the world about us.
*When the UAE can have a migrant Baloch minister, why Iran cannot have a woman minister?
*Jihad in Islam is not against everyone; rather it is legal against the aggressors who are not ready to accept justice and negotiation.
*It is the work of illiterate and lowbrow nations to create disputes and discords on religious issues and then take them into the ground of politics.
*As Islam orders to offer prayers and perform Hajj, it legalizes politics, too. It is beneficial for us to not politicalize Islam, rather we should Islamize politics.
*We [Sunnis] enjoy partly religious freedom. Sunnis can offer prayers. The problems have been decreased. But still some narrow-minded and lowbrow people act waywardly; this problem can be resolved by the support of the government.
*I do not insist to announce when I do something for others. The issue of the border guards – who were freed after the intercession of Mawlana Abdol-Hamid- was publicized accidently. Otherwise we have released dozens of hostages by public intercession.
*We utilized both Iranian and Islamic architecture in building the Grand Makki Masjid of Zahedan. Islamic architecture is not restricted to Iran. Civilized nations export their excellences and adopt other’s excellences, too.