The most influential Iranian Sunni leader reacted to the abusive remarks of a private Shia TV channel and asked its directors to purge it from ‘fanatic elements’.
SunniOnline quoted the website of the office of Shaikh Abdol-Hamid, the Friday imam of Sunnis in Zahedan that he had said in his sermon of April 14, 2017: “Recently some violent offenses were aired on Velayat TV. One of its members, who looked to be abnormal, subjected me to insulting abuses and hard allegations.”
He expressed his satisfaction with the stances of people and some officials over the abusive remarks of the TV and said: “I was happy to see the stances of some Shia and Sunni elements and some officials on this issue. Ayatollah Qazvini, the director of the TV also phoned me and apologized.”
“This is the sign of our people’s vigilance. If the fanatics of Shia or Sunni communities want to create disputes, they will face the opposition of people. It is unacceptable for the Iranian nation that a person creates sectarian issues by the excuse of supporting any particular sect,” he underlined.
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid further cleared: “However, due to outrage of Shias and Sunnis on this issue, there was need of an apology to the two sects, but I accept the apology to maintain the unity of sects.”
“I’d like to ask the owners of Velayat TV and the rest of domestic and international channels –regardless to their ascription to any sect- to consider the sensitive situation of the region, show restraint and avoid from insults and allegations,” he added more.
Calling on the directors and presenters of both Shia and Sunni religious TV channels to preserve the respect of sanctities, the rector of Darululoom Zahedan said: “I’d like to invite the owner of Velayat TV, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, and the rest of channels which are being operated by the Qom seminary to dislodge fanatics from their lines. Such people create disputes and troubles between Shias and Sunnis. Instead, unity-seekers and sober people should be preferred for working in the channels.”
Muslims should be vigilant
Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdol-Hamid expressed his regret on the ongoing disputes in the Muslim world and pointed out: “The Muslim world has been suffering from disputes and other issues. It is the plot of the occupying regime of Israel and other opportunist and criminal powers to create disputes among Muslims making them busy with each other. They just want to strengthen their power and spread their false cultures on Muslim states.”
“The arrogant powers first make Muslims to fight with each other, and then they enter the scene to massacre Muslims directly. Therefore, Muslim nations should be vigilant foiling the plots of the enemies of Islam,” he emphasized.
Expressing his satisfaction with the condition of unity between Shias and Sunnis in Iran, he said: “In Iran, both Shias and Sunni unanimously urge on unity and respect of sanctities. They believe the problems should be resolved by dialogue and negotiation. They know well how the situation is critical in the Muslim world and vigilance is must and vital. Before any other, these are people who forbid fanatics and sectarian elements.”
Armed forces should take care of innocent civilians
In another part of his speech before tens of thousands citizens in Zahedan, the Friday imam of Sunnis alluded to an incident took place in Kurin region of Zahedan which claimed lives of three persons and said: “In Kurin town of Zahedan in a mistaken ambush three persons, including one of the commanders of Basij forces. There were reports that the commander had been killed by ‘terrorist’ and ‘takfiri’ men, but following the quick investigation of the pertinent authorities, it was cleared there was no terrorist group. The officials announced all of them ‘martyrs’.”
“This incident has a lesson; unless the identity of people with accurate details of any incident are unclear, there must not be any statement. Also the armed forces should behave carefully to not target any innocent person. If a smuggler runs away, it is better than killing any innocent citizen. Even the solders lose their lives to protect others, it is the sign of their sacrifice,” the prominent scholar urged.
In the last part of his sermon, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid welcomed the provincial attorney general of Sistan-Baluchistan and his colleagues who took part in the Friday ceremony of Zahedan’s Sunnis and said: “By the help of the attorney of Zahedan the order of hanging 42 prisoners has been stopped; they have been sentenced to death on narcotics trafficking.”
“There are some criminal laws including the law of ‘capital punishment’ for drug trafficking which were approved for a specific period. Now there should be a revision in the laws. But until the revision, attorneys and judges should work hard to stop the sentence of death for drug trafficking,” he concluded his points.