Referring to the issuance of severe penalties against the protesters of the recent demonstrations, the most influential Iranian Sunni leader demanded the release of the detainees, including the clerics and political and social activists.
Talking to the people of Zahedan in the presence of tens of thousands of Friday worshippers on Dec. 16, 2022, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said: “As a compassionate, I would like to recommend the officials to free the prisoners of the recent nationwide protests. Most of them are young and teenagers. Free detained girls and boys. Even if they are mohareb\warriors, they should not be sentenced to death and killed. The holy Qur’an teaches us that if someone has not committed a murder, s/he should not be killed. Make them exile or imprisoned either. The holy prophet says: there is no good in a religion that does not have pity and compassion.”
Alluding to the imprisonment of some Kurdish scholars, the president of Darululoom Zahedan said: “Recently, two prominent clerics have been arrested in Kurdish areas; Mamousta Saifullah Hosseini is a prominent scholar of Javanroud. His house was attacked, and his wife was insulted. Mamousta Khedhrnejad is another prominent Kurdish scholar who has been imprisoned. These scholars have spoken. Today, people criticize all over the country; never prevent them from criticism.”
The president of Darululoom Zahedan demanded the release of Mawlana Kohi, a prominent Baloch cleric who has been in jail for two years. He said: “Mawlana Kohi has been in jail for two years. He should be free now according to the regulations. We all demand the release of all scholars. Mawlana Kohi only criticized, but today we see people criticize more harshly.”
The Friday Khateeb of Zahedan pointed out to summoning Molawi Abdol-Ghaffar Naqshbandi (a Baloch Sunni activist) by Special Court of Clerics and said: “We hope no problem will happen to Mawlana Abdol-Ghaffar. He only criticized, spoke, and did not do anything else. However, we recommend all to talk compassionately.”
The top Iranian Sunni cleric expressed his concerns on issuing death sentence for a radiologist doctor, Hamid Qarahasanlou and said: “Hamid Qarahasanlou is a doctor, and the medical community is worried about him. He has been accused to moharebah and was sentenced to death in charge of the murder of a Basiji force. Everyone claims that Dr. Hamid Qarahasanlou and his family should be freed.”
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid defended university students’ rights and said: “Do not suspend students. Male and female students can talk and protest. Let them criticize. Do not deprive them of science and education. What have restricted the country are the narrow views. Iran is a great country. Different religions, ethnicities, and tendencies are in our country. Everyone should have freedom. The constitution has given all Iranians freedom.”
“Unfortunately, there is more evasion of law in Iran. Many presidents in their election campaigns said that they implement the constitution; people trusted and voted for them, but they could not do anything when they came to power. The taste and discrimination has been the biggest illness in the country. All of those who came to power have not implemented the law, and they failed to fulfil people’s demands.”
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid further referred to the discriminatory behaviors of authorities against religious and ethnic minorities during more than four decades and said: “The law has been passed for the rights of the weak, but the power holders have been running away from the law. The law has given the right to all. Discrimination among Iranians is a guilty. I have previously said, and now I would like to say again: those who say that we have Sunni city governors, should answer how many Sunnis we have in the armed forces? Why don’t you accept facts? How many people from other sects have been employed in provincial offices and in country’s administrative posts?”
Problems have united the people of Iran
The top Iranian Baloch Sunni leader praised the solidarity and unity of the Iranian people amid current nationwide protests and said: “The solidarity and unity of the Iranian people in the current situation is very desirable. Today, the Iranian people came to one stage and united more than the past. They respect each other’s customs in metropolises like Tehran. For many years, the state-run media outlets were called to introduce the costumes of the Iranian ethnics. Today, conditions changed, and the Iranian people are aware about each other.”
“It has been for years that international unity conferences have been held in the country, but in fact, there was no practical unity. Today majority of the people are coherent together, because they have same problems. Problems such as inflation, economic pressures, and so on. These problems have approached the Iranian people to one point,” he added more.
Imam of the Grand Makki Mosque of Zahedan said: “Altogether, Iranians should choose a path that leads them towards prosperity and progress. If discrimination and inequality are removed, and we tolerate each other, we can unite. Many Iranians have not even been able to worship and educate their children freely”.
People whose currency has fallen feel disillusioned
The eminent Iranian Sunni scholar continued his Friday speech of Zahedan and said: “The people of Iran are neither anti-religion, nor they are agents of foreign countries, but they are Iranians and belong to this land. They have been protesting because they have problems. When people see that the value of their currency has fallen in the world, they feel humility. While the country has natural resources, mines, and facilities and people are hungry, they do not have freedom and their demands, and weak people are running the country, they get worried. When people’s demands are not met after the elections, the country’s situation does not change, the country moves towards isolation in the world, and the Human Rights Council questions it, they get worried.”
“Why we are not successful in interacting with the world? We must interact with friends and foes. Islam is a religion of interaction, tolerance, and logic. Islam has come to make humanity and make moralities,” he noted.
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid addressed the officials regarding the current situation and stated: “See what issues are raised in the protests. The founder of the Islamic Republic addressed the former king and said that the people of Iran are good people. Why are these people complaining about you? Iranian people do not have freedom. They don’t want to be dependent on the East and West and their wealth spent elsewhere. These are the words of the founder of the revolution. Today, the authorities should know that the nation is in trouble. That is why we say that the voice of the nation must be heard.”
You cannot rule when the people are unsatisfied
The president of Darululoom Zahedan insisted the need to find out the ways to solve the problems and meet people’s demands, saying: “Find out ways to solve the problems. We have always shouted from this platform that domestic and foreign policies are not responsive and must be changed. Officials should focus on building and improving their own country and think about the nation. If your own people are not pleased with you, there is no benefit, even if the entire world is happy with you. You cannot rule when the people are dissatisfied. I am a well-wisher of the people and the state.”
“Our beloved nation has been protesting inside and outside the country for three months. Why have the capable people of Iran fled the country?” he said.
“Iranian people are thinking about their homeland wherever they are in the world. We wish our dear compatriots to return to Iran and live with us. The only way to win is to submit to the will of the nation. The founder of the Islamic Republic said that what the nation wants is right. If I say the words of the founder of the Islamic Republic, some may be upset. You may not get along with any foreign government and power, but you must get along with your nation,” said the Friday Imam of Zahedan.
He added: “The scholars have always been popular and cried with people. We are crying with people, we should see why people are crying now.”
Referring to the martyrdom of Mawlana Abdol-Wahed Rigi, the Sunni Friday Imam of Imam Hussein mosque in Khash, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said: “Mawlana Abdol-Wahed was among the great scholars of the Khash city. He was a good scholar and a well-washer. He always worked to bring peace. He was martyred and all of us are affected.”
“Previously, if people had dispute with each other, they did not target scholars, tribal elders, educated class, and women. We pray may Allah accept the martyrdom of this prominent scholar, elevate his degrees, and gives rewards and patience to his children and survivors,” he concluded his points by making a stance about the murder case of a Sunni scholar killed in Khash a week ago.