The most influential Iranian Sunni leader called for holding a referendum in Iran with the presence of international observers. After 50 days of nationwide protests in Iran in which hundreds of innocent people have been killed and injured all over the country, especially in Zahedan, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid insisted on bringing fundamental changes in country’s policies based on people’s aspirations.
He asked the top shite clerics of Qom and the high state officials to listen to the voices of the people who have been protesting for fifty days.
The lack of freedom was the reason behind the 1979 revolution
Talking to the people of Zahedan, the provincial capital of Sistan- Balochistan, before the Friday prayers on Nov. 4, 2022, the Iranian Sunni leader stated: “In 1979, the people of Iran rose against tyranny, oppression, corruption, and inequality and made a big revolution. The clerics were the pioneers in this great upheaval. The lack of freedom was the main reason for people’s uprising.”
“For mankind, freedom is more important than anything else. If people have everything but no freedom, everything will be bitter to their taste,” he believed.
“The 1979 revolution was for freedom and independence. At that time, people complained that the country’s capital was spent elsewhere. They questioned: why the national capital of Iran should not be spent on these people? Why we cannot criticize? Why we do not have independence? Why we as Muslims should not experience an Islamic system?” said the Iranian top Sunni cleric in his Friday sermons of Zahedan.
The highest state officials got their legitimacy from the people
The president of Darululoom Zahedan went on to point out to the causes of the victory of the 1979 revolution, saying: “The Iranian people made the Islamic revolution win. Various classes of people including men, women, students, and shopkeepers and traders came to the scene. They were killed and went to prison to achieve freedom. They voted for the Islamic Republic. In fact, this system got its legitimacy from the people’s vote.”
“At that time, some thought that the era of the holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, would return to Iran and the justice and equality of the Prophet PBUH would be practiced again. Sunnis said that the period of the righteous caliphs would repeat. Shia and Sunni citizens believed that the era of the Caliph Ali’s justice was coming,” said the Friday Khateeb of Zahedan.
He continued: “All officials have gotten their legitimacy, directly or indirectly, from the people. The president, MPs, and members of the Assembly of Experts of the Leadership get legitimacy directly from the people. At that time, the high-ranking officials used to say: ‘the people are our masters and guardians’. In the republican system, people are the pivot.”
Many women are more skilled and talented than men
The most eminent Iranian Sunni scholar criticized the discriminatory treatments against women in Iran and said: “Discrimination against women was one of the biggest problems in the country before the 1979 revolution. Unfortunately, today, women in our country are suffering from bigotry. I say this so that everyone should know where the root of the problem is. As long as the doctor does not know about the disease, he\she cannot do anything.”
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid urged on the importance of eliminating the discriminations, saying: “Ethnic and religious minorities have been suffering from discrimination for so many years. They have always shouted against fanaticism. Bigotry is against the Islamic laws and against the country’s constitution.”
Regarding the women rights, Imam of the Grand Makki Mosque of Zahedan said: “Most of the women protesters have been facing discriminatory behaviors. As men, women can go to university, study, do research, and serve the community. Many of the women are more skilled and more talented than men; these women deserve to get their due status. Today, women are shouting; this is the result of discrimination and inequality towards them. Women have seen unkindness in our society. While wearing a scarf is an Iranian and Islamic culture, why these women tear their scarves and set them on fire? Who made these women angry? We have to ask ourselves these questions.”
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid described people’s hatred of religion as the result of authorities’ action and said: “Unfortunately, today the people of Iran hate the religion more than ever before; women hate the hijab. This is the result of our own performance. If our performance were correct, people would not hate the Islamic laws. Do not let people increase their hatred. Now is the time to ask all Iranians for their opinions and consult with them in all state affairs. We are well-wishers to our country and to the people of Iran; we do not want anything else.”
Neither a Shia nor a Sunni will go to heaven by force
The most outstanding Iranian Sunni leader strictly prohibited the officials from using force in dealing with the people and stated: “It is against the wisdom that the moral police force women to wear hijab. If the government was more kind to women and respected their due rights, there would not be any need for the moral police; rather, women themselves would have observed hijab. When women are deprived of everything, and you want to take the people to heaven by force, you must know that neither a Shia nor a Sunni will go to heaven by force. This is a big mistake. With love, respect and persuasion you can guide and lead people to heaven or hell.”
“Islam has not spread by force and sword. Iranians did not accept Islam by the force of sword, but they embraced Islam with love, respect, and by good morals. Muslims promoted the religion of Islam in the world through their good deeds and actions. It is wrong if someone thinks that people accepted Islam by force of the sword. You’ve made a big mistake when you created such a critical situation in the country,” said Mawlana Abdol-Hamid in his Friday sermons of Zahedan.
The top Iranian Baloch cleric considered the elimination of discrimination to be the basic demand of people and said: “When Sunnis were united during the election periods, many Shiites followed them in voting for the reformists. I told the current president: if you want the Iranian nation to achieve their dignity, you have to bring women and religious and ethnic communities into your cabinet, but unfortunately the authorities have not heard from people until now. They have always behaved people with taste.”
He added: “I would like to address the officials: listen to the people and do not let the death toll of public protests increase. These damages affect all Iranians.”
Don’t beat women, even if they beat you
Regarding the position of women in the culture of the Baloch people, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said: “There is an amazing culture about women in our region. If someone wants to kill any murderer and sees that a woman is with the murderer, he will refrain from killing the murderer. Women have a special position in our culture and customs. These women are your daughters, sisters, and mothers; do not behave them violently. Let women beat you; if a woman hits us, we do not defend ourselves. Even if women beat the police, they should not beat them.”
He questioned: “Which Shari’ah and law allowed the moral police to grab women’s hands and feet and throw them in vans?”
With which permission, Taliban prevented girls from education?
Criticizing the Taliban’s administration for preventing girls from going to high schools, the most influential Iranian Sunni leader said: “I would like to address the Taliban government: I have said in an interview that today the Taliban have changed their methods, and now they are different from the Taliban of 20 years ago; some have objected to me. I feel that the Taliban have changed their ways, but what I am worried about is that no one should stop the women from education. Universities and secondary schools should be open for women.”
He questioned: “Which religion and Shari’ah has prevented women from getting education?”
‘This is the view of some narrow-minded people that prevents women from education’, Mawlana Abdol-Hamid believed.
The president of Darululoom Zahedan further addressed the Taliban administration and noted: “Taliban! Open universities and schools for women. I recommend that the universities should be opened for female students before the male students. Women are talented. They want to learn science and knowledge. With which Islamic law you have stopped women from education? Who told you that women are not allowed to get education?”
“We have already told the Taliban that the scholars of the Muslim world will not be satisfied if women are prevented from education. The Taliban have a duty to respect women’s rights,” said the Friday Imam of Zahedan.
By which law do you hang people?
The prominent scholar of Zahedan continued his Friday speech by saying: “Some may say that the country has no any problem, but those who are among the people know that there are so many problems in the country. Today, the majority of the Iranian masses is in pain.”
Believing that the irregular capital punishments hit the country, Mawlana Abdol-Hamid said: “We have been saying to the judicial authorities that executions hit the country. During the time of the holy Prophet, peace be upon him, and the period of the righteous caliphs; in addition, the caliph Ali, may Allah be pleased with them, there was no death sentence.”
He questioned: “With which legal permission do you execute people?
“Irregular death penalties are harmful to the country and are contrary to the Islamic rules of laws. Those who commit crimes should be imprisoned or punished in other ways, not by executions,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid believed.
Broadcasting forced confessions inflames society
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid called forced confessions unacceptable and added: “Forced confessions are not accepted in Islam at all. Broadcasting the forced confessions inflame the situation. We have to use the tools that calm the society. Do not imprison political protesters; rather, invite them to speak their mind and if they are right, accept them, if they are wrong, convince them. Imprisoning women has made me very sad. We must let people speak and shout against us. If our performance is correct, no one’s reaction will harm us.”
The seminaries of Qom must listen to the voice of the people
The president of Darululoom Zahedan considered the protests to be the result of the accumulation of numerous problems in the country and said: “The overwhelming majority of Iranian people suffers from discrimination, and they feel humiliated. People are hungry and the value of the national currency has fallen. The seminaries of Qom and the officials must listen to the cry of the people. Authorities cannot make people quiet by imprisoning and killing them.”
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid said: “The Iranian nation have been protesting in the streets for nearly 50 days. They have seen blood and were killed; you cannot push them back by killing, beating and arresting them.”
There will come a day when it is too late
“I’m a well-wisher to the country and I would like to say: I have refused to accept any government job and official post, and in the future, if you give me the whole responsibility of Iran I will not accept it either. It is enough for me to live as a student. Do not treat these people harshly, but solve your problem with them. The majority of people are dissatisfied; you gained your legitimacy from these people. If you do not accept this, hold a referendum with the presence of international observers and see the result,” said the Iranian Sunnis’ leader in Zahedan’s Friday gathering in the presence of tens of thousands people.
“We are all Iranians and have the same aspirations. We are not Shia, Sunni, or ethnic groups. We are all one. Furthermore, we say that the country’s all problems must be solved soon, and all Iranians must enjoy equal rights. We do not want anything else,” he underlined.
“Within a few hours, the death toll in Zahedan equaled the death toll of the entire country. Take the country out of this miserable condition. Hold a referendum and meet people’s demands. The country’s current policies have reached a dead end. As a sympathizer, I have already said that there will come a day when it is too late,” said the prominent Iranian Sunni scholar.
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid insisted on the necessity of revising the constitutional bills and stated: “This Constitution was enacted 43 years ago. Those who drafted its clauses are died, and another generation has come. These clauses should be changed and updated. However, many of these clauses should have been changed before, but not only this was not happened, but many of the present clauses of the constitution have not yet been fully implemented yet. We have said that the people of Iran are hungry. The capital of this country must be spent on the people of Iran, not elsewhere.”
Filters must be removed
The Friday Khateeb of Zahedan criticized the officials for not handing over the high responsibilities to the capable people regardless of their religion, tendency, and ethnicity and said: “I remember that before the revolution people used to say: Why should we be so hungry in a country which is rich with huge resources?” Iran is among the countries that have exceptional resources and mines, but its wealth has been looted. People object to this issue. They feel humiliated.”
“You have put filters between the people and the government; you don’t let the capable people become the president because of their faith. Representatives and managers are selected only from a specific party; you have handed over the country to the military and security men. They have another responsibility; the country is run by politicians who can manage domestic and foreign policies,” the most outstanding Iranian Baloch scholar addressed the officials.
He further said: “Many university elites who were trained with national capital have left the country. Iranian brains fled, and the country has been hit. There are capable intellectuals in the Shia society who can build the country if they have the opportunity.”
We do not want blood money; punish the culprits of Zahedan’s bloody incident
“I have a suggestion about martyrs and wounded of Zahedan’s Friday bloody incident. Many victims’ families are from weak families; we have opened a bank account to help the families of the martyrs and for treatment of the injured. We want to hire lawyers for the case,” said Shaikh Abdol-Hamid.
“Some authorities have suggested that they pay the martyrs’ blood money, but for now, because people’s demands have not been met, in my opinion we should not take blood money. We help these families voluntary. We insist on punishing the perpetrators of the crime in any level they are,” Mawlana Abdol-Hamid concluded his speech.