The most influential Iranian Sunni leader strongly criticized the election process in Islamic Republic of Iran, and considered the current crises in the country as the result of unsafe and unfair elections. He stated that the laws and policies that have been ineffective in Iran for forty-four years must be abandoned.
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid was talking to tens of thousands of worshippers in Zahedan’s biggest Friday gathering on May 12, 2023.
People are disappointed with incompetent representatives and officials
“Everyone knows about the current situation of the country. All the people of Iran are under economic pressure. Economic and livelihood problems, inflation, high prices, and unemployment have put pressure on the people. During the holy month of Ramadan, we received reports that many families had no food to eat, and their tables were empty. The table of many Iranians is empty. Different classes and guilds protest daily. Retirees, workers and employees and different strata are protesting. People complain about heavy taxes,” said the Friday prayer leader of Sunnis in Zahedan.
He continued: “In the past, the representatives of the parliament and the authorities used to inspire people that the problems were about to be solved, but now the representatives and officials cannot promise people to solve the problems; this has caused people’s disappointment.”
“The authorities could not return the value of the national currency. Our neighboring country, Afghanistan, despite many problems and changes took place over there, did not let the value of its currency to fall. The current government of Afghanistan controlled the value of its currency. Why the national assets of Iran are still blocked? Our officials and politicians could not return these funds to the country with proper policies and proper management. These are national capitals,” said the Iranian top Sunni leader.
Capable people could not participate in the elections
During his Friday sermons of Zahedan, the president of Darululoom Zahedan criticized the election process in Iran and said: “Why is the country facing lots of weaknesses? The root of these problems is elsewhere. The election process in the Islamic Republic has not been fair and correct. The capable people could not participate in free elections. The Guardian Council and the institutions that check competence of the candidates were so strict and narrow-minded as no capable person can dare to participate in elections. We see people who themselves need to be approved, appointed as supervisors.”
“Weak and incapable people are appointed as supervisors and representatives of the Guardian Council,” he added more.
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid said: “The recent uprisings and protests are the result of holding unsafe elections. In our country, the way of holding elections is not right. The governing body could not bring masterminds and capable people to the scene, but weak people have occupied posts and offices, those who participated in religious ceremonies. The country needs capable managers and representatives who are masterminds.”
“When you send a weak representative to the parliament, such a parliament cannot save the country in crisis and in the most difficult situations. When you choose a president who does not have the ability to run the country, you have done injustice to the people. Weak authorities cannot properly manage crises and solve economic and political problems. Economic problems can be dealt by adopting right policies. Change the policies, and then see what happens,” Imam of the Grand Makki Mosque of Zahedan said.
The election process has weakened the country; this is the opinion of the nation
The prominent Iranian Sunni scholar continued: “The people of Iran have come to the conclusion that the election process, including presidential and parliamentary elections, has weakened the country. Weak officials and managers, those who cannot manage the country, have been selected; this is the opinion of the nation and the people.”
“We hear that some are planning for the upcoming parliamentary elections; this election is not what the people want. The nation wants free elections. The nation wants to choose those who are capable, have the authority to make decisions, and can manage crises. The people of Iran see other countries in the world how they choose their presidents, representatives and officials,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid further said.
He added more: “Iranian people wish that their country would go towards freedom, prosperity, and development. The funds of the country should be spent for the country itself, and the officials should focus on the interior affairs of the country. It is the right of the people to have competent and capable managers.”
Iranians feel humiliated
The Iranian top Baloch leader urged on fulfilling people’s demands and said: “Iranian people feel disappointment, humiliation, and failure. It is the right of the people to fulfill their legitimate demands. The holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and the Rashidin caliphs, including the Caliph Ali, respected the will of people. If you pay attention to the demands of the people, economic problems will be solved.”
“To solve all problems, there must be sweeping changes in the country. Listen to the people. When you satisfy the people, Allah will be satisfied and the country will remain strong,” said the Friday Imam of Zahedan.
He said: “Stop policies and laws that have been ineffective. Iranian people have ideas and opinions. We must work to find out where the origin of these problems is. These problems should be solved as soon as possible. There should be communication with the people. As I have said before, I now insist that you sit with the opponents. Sit with prisoners, scholars, and academics. We have suggestions and opinions. Solve problems; it will stabilize the national unity and peace, and eliminates chaos and problems.”
“Many have been killed, injured, and paralyzed in these protests. Many are in prisons. We live in the country together and our interests are common. We should be compassionate and kind to each other,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said.
The people of Iran want to have capable managers
Continuing his Friday speech of Zahedan, the Iranian Sunnis’ leader said: “The Iranian nation also wants to have the best leaders like other nations; it does not matter if the person (in charge) adheres to prayers or not, he should have a conscience, be compassionate, not abuse his post and avoid helping his relatives unjustly. I believe that someone who is not even a Muslim, but can push the country towards prosperity, should be given a chance to serve.”
“We must seek to eliminate the weaknesses and design plans properly for the future of our country. What the authorities carried out in the past and failed, they should not experience them again; because it will cause regret. Officials should think to solve the problems that have arisen in the country,” Mawlana Abdol-Hamid underlined.
People want to punish the perpetrators and commanders of Zahedan’s Bloody Friday incident
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid referred to the recent trip of the head of the judicial organization of the armed forces in Zahedan, and his remarks regarding the case of Bloody Friday of Zahedan. He said: “The head of the judicial organization of the armed forces of the country said in his interview that criminals and those who shot at people would be punished and there will be no waiver in this regard. We consider this a positive step from the authorities, but we are waiting for the results and actions. We look at what the officials will do practically.”
“The families of the injured and martyrs and the public want the punishment of and retaliation of the proprietors behind the attack. Just as ordinary people are retaliated when they kill an officer, an officer must also be retaliated when he kills innocent people,” said the president of Darululoom Zahedan.
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said in his last points: “Our people want not only the punishment of the perpetrators, but also the punishment of those who ordered the killing of innocent people without any reason. Anyone who issued this order in any rank and position should be punished; this demand of the people is an Islamic, a legal, and rational demand.”