Scholars of Iranian Balochistan Emphasize on Seminaries’ Independency

Scholars of Iranian Balochistan Emphasize on Seminaries’ Independency

In a meeting held in Darululoom Zahedan, the rectors and principals of the Sunni seminaries of the province of Sistan-Balochistan, the president of the Coordination Council of Sunni Seminaries, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid emphasized on the independence and freedom of the seminaries.
Top Sunni clerics from different parts of Balochistan gathered in Makki Grand Mosque on December 21, 2022. At the end of this meeting, scholars issued a statement expressing their views on the current issues of the country and the province.

‘Scholars should be with people’
In this convocation, the most influential Iranian Sunni leader urged on the independence of Iran’s Sunni seminaries, and called on Ulama to remain always along with masses.
The most important points of Shaikh Abdol-Hamid’s remarks are as follow:
In recent months, brutality and callousness have engulfed the whole country, which worried us all. Nationwide protests started in the country and led to the incident of Bloody Friday in Zahedan. After this incident, many people converted back to religion and the reason was that the scholars stayed with the people.
People’s voices should be heard and they should not be hit, tortured, and insulted. Guiding people and reforming the community is the main duty of scholars. They should strive hard to serve the society as much as possible and communicate with different strata of people. If the scholars stay connected with the people, they will return to religion. Moderation should be the main path of scholars. They must maintain their independence. Independence is the greatest value for Ulama, tribal elders and seminaries.
At the beginning of the recent countrywide protests, some told us to participate in these protests, but we said that the conditions of our province are special. When the incident of Zahedan’s bloody Friday took place, the situation changed. We have documents that the worshipers did not attack the police station before the shooting. The allegation of an armed attack on the base is wrong. Not a single officer was killed there. However, the worshipers were shot from four sides.
The Iranian Sunnis have been enduring so many pressures before this heartbreaking incident. Their prayer houses were closed. The governor of Mashhad city had announced that he would not allow Sunnis to have any prayer house in that city.
Sunni worshipers in Tehran have been told to obtain official permits; otherwise, their prayer houses would be closed. When the officials were asked from where to get the permission? They had no answer. A few years ago, in a meeting, I told the Minister of Cultural Affairs for permission for prayer houses, he said that we have never heard that prayers require permission. No one has the right to prevent people from offering prayers.
We have followed up these issues, and wrote many letters to the supreme leader, the president, and other officials to stop the extremists. Unfortunately, our letters were not taken into consideration.

The state and system killed our people in Zahedan’s incident
The president of Darululoom Zahedan pointed to the Zahedan incident and said:
In the bloody Friday of Zahedan, the security forces did not kill our people in fact, but the people were unjustly killed by the state and system.
If there were Sunnis in these forces, they would never have killed their people in such a heinous manner.
In 1993, 13 people were martyred in Makki Grand Mosque by military forces. In my opinion, if there was no discrimination, these tragic events would not have taken place. After three months, the officials still have not taken any concrete steps to solve this problem. The officials only say how many people have been summoned or arrested in this case. As Iranian citizens, we demand urgent consideration of this case.
Discrimination is a big problem in this country. Not only Sunnis, but other ethnic and religious communities are also facing problems. Posts are not distributed on merit but only a certain group and range of incompetent and weak officials run the country. It is in the interest of the system to hire capable people. Now is the time for changes in the affairs of the country. If there is no change, the nation will not be satisfied.

Statement of Sistan-Balochistan’s Sunni clerics
In a joint statement, the top clerics of Iranian Balochistan have demanded the arrest and trial of the officials involved in the killing of the people of Zahedan and Khash. According to this statement, more than four hundred people were martyred and injured in these incidents.
The statement adds: Sunni scholars condemn the targeted killing of some scholars and tribal elders. Torturing prisoners to get confessions is against the Islamic Shariah and law. Arresting scholars, political activists, journalists, doctors, lawyers, artists, students, teachers, athletes, and women incites people’s anger and hits them. Mass execution is against Islamic mercy and Prophet’s Sunnah.
Silence of Maraji’ and scholars in this situation is regrettable. Scholars should always be with the people.
In the current situation, all political prisoners should be released, the doors of negotiations should be opened, violence should be ended, and people’s demands should be met.


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