Note: Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdol-Hamid has been under travel restrictions for a long time. He cannot travel inside his homeland but to counties in Sistan-Balochistan province and Tehran city. Mawlana Abdol-Hamid was banned from taking part in funeral ceremonies in Tayebad and Khaaf cities of Khorasan. As well as, the authorities did not allow him to enter Rameshk city of Kerman province. He has been banned from different abroad trips.
On the other hand, some other prominent Sunni scholars of Iran have been facing such restrictions and obstacles. Therefore, president of Darululoom Zahedan criticized strongly the illegal restrictions and urged on the removal of self-imposed discriminations.
Khateeb and Friday Imam of Sunnis in Zahedan said in the Friday sermon of May 4, 2018: “There are different conventions; “Islamic convention should respected and followed by all Muslims. States in the world agree upon some treaties which are called “international conventions”. These conventions call rulers to take care of human rights, religious freedoms and other basic rights of people.”
He expressed his views on the “national convention” and said: “The national convention is the Constitute; all parts of the nation accept it and they are supposed to abide with its laws and regulations.”
“Every individual and bureau is equal before the law; the Constitution has not excluded anyone. All authorities and officials must respect the Constitution which underlines on the religious, personal, political, social and other civil rights of people. Citizenship rights of people should not be violated,” the most influential Iranian Sunni scholar said.
He said: “The constitution ensures freedom of opinion. No one can question any citizen because of his/her opinions. Violating such rights and freedoms is against the constitution.”
“This is the due right of people to travel inside the country freely. When a person wants to take part in a funeral prayer, he should not be told that you do not have this right. The constitution has not given any bureau this right to ban any citizen from traveling,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid emphasized.
He further said: “Shia and Sunni communities should enjoy equal liberties. If a Shia, Sunni or Jew, Christian and Zoroastrian citizen travels to Sistan-Balochistan, we welcome him warmly giving him respect. If a Shia wants to offer prayers, we open the door for him to worship Allah according to his faith.”
Mental peace is achieved by giving legal liberties
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid said: “It is unfair and against the constitution to provide full civil rights to followers of one sect and deprive the other community from its due rights. There should not be any fear; provide the whole nation its due liberties, it will make society peaceful.”
“Mental peace can be achieved when people enjoy their legal and due rights. The Islamic Republic of Iran should be an example in the case of civil rights. There should not be any narrow-mindness,” he added more.
Khateeb of Sunnis said: “The Iranian nation revolted to get rid of restrictions and pressures of the previous regime and obtain their liberties and freedoms. I ensure that legal freedoms are not threats, rather restricting those rights and stealing people’s liberties is a threat.”
“Do not ban well-wishers and do not restrict their travels. We are well-wishers of both the rulers and masses. No one can steal this opinion; it is our belief not stance,” he added more.
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid called on authorities to respect the constitution and stop imposing their personal ideas instead of laws.
Stop harassing people in Ahwaz and Abadan
In another part of his speech, the most influential Iranian Sunni leader pointed out to the problems of the Sunni community in the province of Khuzestan and said: “Despite the right of opinion freedom in the constitution, the people of many towns, especially in remote areas. There are illegal pressures on the people just because of their tenets and beliefs.”
He called on the authorities to revise their behavior with the people of Ahwaz and Abadan in the southwest of Iran.
President of Darululoom Zahedan said: “There have been some cases that the state TV and some satellite TV channels showed men who claimed to be converted from Sunnism to Shiism and called them “guided”. But we kept silent and said if the man had not changed his mind for money and worldly interests, it is his right.”
“As there is freedom for Sunnis to convert into Shia sect, reciprocally Shias also should have freedom of changing sect. according to the law, there is no any forbiddance on people to exercise Sunni rituals and apply Sunni tenets,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid underlined.
He concluded his points by saying: “It was approved by the World Forum for Proximity of Muslim Sects where domestic and foreign scholars urged all individuals were free to act according to their faith and no one can put pressure on others because of changing sect. so the people of Ahwaz and Abadan and other areas should not be excluded from that regulation and resolution.”