Criticizing weaknesses of the “reformists” in addressing the demands of the people of Iran and solving their problems, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid, the most influential Iranian Sunni leader, few days before the presidential elections believed that disappointment had pervaded the whole country.
He stressed on the necessity of reviving hope among the people by creating new solutions to the problems, in his Friday sermons of Zahedan in May 28, 2021.
The Friday Khateeb of Sunnis in Zahedan said that the implementation of justice was one of the most important goals of the Islamic Revolution and Islamic Republic that all Iranians with different backgrounds played a vital role in establishing this system.
President of Darululoom Zahedan continued: “After suffering of so many years’ tyranny, ultimately the Iranian people stood up against cruelty to make justice superior”.
“The implementation of Justice was one of the major demands of the ethnic and religious communities of Iran that caused the victory of the Islamic Revolution”, he believed.
Ethnic and religious communities are disappointed with the reformists
Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdol-Hamid continued his speech by criticizing the reformists said: “The reformists chanted, ‘Iran belongs to all Iranians,’ and most of the people supported them. President Rouhani also got the power with the slogan of “prudence and hope”. Some reformists of president Rouhani’s party prepared a list called ‘list of hope’ and gave hope to the Iranians; unfortunately they weren’t able to address the demands of the people.”
“Those who were suffering from discrimination and inequality and different kinds of problems, they supported the reformists, but the reformists couldn’t fulfill the slogan “Iran belongs to all Iranians” and couldn’t fulfill their other promises”, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid further said.
“The reformists made the people hopeless because they didn’t help people in country’s recent years’ events and could not give the people hope for the future. They couldn’t solve the problems and didn’t tell the people the sources of the problems that where the people should go to solve their problems; the reformists were supposed –at least – to inform people that their problems would be solved in Qom, Tehran or elsewhere”, said the prominent Iranian Sunni leader.
Iranian Sunnis suffer from severe discrimination, but they show patience
President of Darululoom Zahedan continued: “Unfortunately, today all Iranians including the Sunnis feel frustrated; Sunnis are disappointed. They are still deprived from getting administrative jobs after pursuing their due rights for more four decades”.
“I have written letters to the President and his First Vice and to other officials that the presence of Sunnis in the offices of the Sunni-majority provinces had been low and that those who had already been employed were getting retired”, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said.
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid added: “In these letters, I demanded that Shiites and Sunnis should be employed equally, because the country belongs to both Shiites and Sunnis, and justice has been one of the most important slogans of the Islamic revolution, as the founder of the Islamic Revolution said: Shiites and Sunnis are brothers and have equal rights”.
“Shiites and Sunnis were killed in defense of the country’s territorial integrity. We do not think only about Sunnis, but also about Shiites; we are all one nation; every religion worships God in its own way”, said the Iranian Sunnis’ leader.
“As a well-wisher, I have always reminded the officials about their responsibilities and the MPs also discussed some issues with the authorities,” he said.
He added: “Sunnis face severe discrimination and this discrimination is not in the interest of the country and Shia Ulama.”
“In Sunni-majority cities, Sunnis are barred from getting official jobs. Sunnis do not have enough mosques in many cities. In many other cities, Sunnis also face difficulties in praying in prayer-houses and they face obstacles on Eid and Fridays”, the most outstanding Sunni scholar of Sistan-Baluchistan said.
“I tried to meet with the Interior Minister regarding the Sunnis’ demands that he had promised me during election campaign, but he avoided meeting with me because he didn’t addressed our demands and he knew well what I was going to discuss with him”, the Friday Imam of Zahedan said.
He added: “Unfortunately, I could not meet with the Minister of Interior during the second term of Rouhani’s administration. It is a big weakness that officials are not eager to hear others in our country.”
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said that the issue was discussed with other officials, but the problem still remains.
President of Darululoom Zahedan further stated: “The Sunnis caused the reformists won the election, but the reformists admitted that they could not address the demands of the Sunnis”.
‘We ask the authorities to see us and address our demands’, he said.
“It is in the interest of the Shiite officials and scholars to satisfy the Sunnis and take care of their rights”, said the Imam of the Grand Makki Mosque of Zahedan.
Iranians want dignity and freedom
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid stressed on the importance of freedom of speech and urged on maintaining dignity of people considering them as main concerns of the people in the country and said: “Some people think that the biggest problem of Iranians is the economic crisis and unemployment, while freedom and dignity are the biggest concern of the people of Iran”.
“The people are looking for freedom. They must be given freedom according to the law. There should not atmosphere of security in the country people should not under the pressure of the security forces, but the people should have freedom of expression and writing to criticize the officials and scholars; these freedoms were among the goals of the Islamic Revolution”, the most outstanding Iranian Sunni leader addressed the officials.
“We oppose division, violence and conflict, but we believe that there should be freedom for everyone to have a say”, he urged.
Give hope to the people to vote
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid believed that in the last election people hoped that their problems would be solved. Iranians, especially Sunnis, hoped and voted, but after a while they became disappointed.
“With the new planning and new structure, hope of the people should be revived; then they will vote”, he believed.
“As a well-wisher, I am ready to talk to the officials and make my suggestions, but unfortunately, the officials don’t ask the people about their opinions. I believe that we should talk to our opponents and even our enemies and listen to them. Dialogue may make opponents ‘sympathizers’ and decrease the enmity of enemies”, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said.
Criticizing the mass disqualification of candidates for the 13th presidential election, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said: “A large number of candidates were disqualified. I’m not saying what would have happened if more candidates had been approved, but the high level of approval shows the high vision of the authorities.”
Judiciary should investigate the mistreatment with women in prisons
At the end of his speech, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said: “Some media reported suggest that some women were abused in the country’s prisons; this made me very sad. I do not know the fact of the matter, but if it really happened, the criminals should be punished severely.”
“If I were in the judiciary, I would consider the severe punishment according to the laws of Islamic Shari’ah for such people”, the eminent Sunni scholar of Sistan-Baluchistan said.
He added “In Islam, the captive has rights. A man shouldn’t interrogate a woman in an empty place, but the interrogation must be carried out by female interrogators or in the presence of a number of other persons if the investigator is a man”.