Iran’s Sunni leader:

Parliament, House of Nation, not Government & State

Parliament, House of Nation, not Government & State

The most influential Iranian Sunni leader criticized the weak performances of representatives of the Iranian Islamic consultative assembly and the inability of the parliament to manage the crises. He pointed out the main duties of the MPs and parliaments and counted the independence and freedom as characteristics of a successful representative.
“The supervision of domestic and foreign policies, the implementation of the constitution and defense of people’s rights are among the main duties of the parliament and its members,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said.
He was talking to the people of Zahedan, southeastern Iran, in the Friday prayer ceremony of the city on May 26, 2023.
“These days, people talk about the parliament and its members, and criticize them. We raise people’s complaints and expectations in this regard. Not in autocratic systems, but in democratic systems, parliament is the center of people’s representation. In our country, parliament is considered as “Islamic Council” and “House of the Nation”. The parliament is not the center and house of the government, but the house of the nation,” said the Iranian top Sunni cleric in the presence of tens of thousands of worshippers.
The president of Darululoom Zahedan continued: “Some think that it is the duty of the parliament and representatives to follow up on the issues such as electricity, water, and making roads, while solving these problems is the government’s duty. The MPs have another job; they must defend the people’s rights and supervise the performance of the government and the implementation of the constitution. The provision of freedoms and monitoring the domestic and foreign policies are among the main duties of MPs.”
“As an MP is not an ordinary person, and a farmer and rancher cannot be a representative, the representatives must be educated, capable and strong persons,” he urged.

People have been suffering from problems\why the MPs do not raise their voice?
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid insisted that one thought and one political spectrum should not run the country’s affairs and said: “It is a big political mistake if we think that only one thought or wing can rule the country and the parliament. Different tendencies, ethnicities, and thoughts must have the right to participate in state affairs. The representative must be independent and free. A representative who is not independent cannot solve people’s problems. A representative of people must be independent and free, not dependent. Today, the country is facing so many problems; why do not MPs raise their voices. Mass executions hit the state, the country, and the nation. People suffer from discrimination, inequality, and injustice; these are basic problems.”
“Due to economic problems, today Iranian people have lost their comfort and peace. While different strata of society including teachers, retirees, employees, workers, and so on have been raising their voices, there is no any effective voice from parliament. Representatives should visit the detention centers to see what is going on there. The constitution prohibits torture and forced confession; MPs should monitor whether the law is enforced in the detention centers or not,” said the Friday Imam of Zahedan.
Mawlana Abdol-Hamid said: “Women prisoners are the sisters and mothers of the nation; their dignity must be preserved. Scholars are the dignity of the nation; is their dignity preserved in prisons? Why academics, students, and young people are in prison? The representatives should monitor these issues. Why incapable and weak people occupy offices and posts? According to the constitution, peaceful protest is the due right of the people; it is the duty of the MPs to monitor why people were shot dead when they protested peacefully. An example was here in Zahedan; while people only came here to establish the Friday prayers, they were shot; dozens dead and injured.”
“Riot is against the law and Sharia and no one approves it, but peaceful protest is the right of the people. The representatives should either change the laws or implement the constitution, which has many problems. Despite all the weaknesses of the constitution, if the law had been implemented, we would not have seen these problems today,” he added more.

We did not see any religious meritocracy in the country
The Iranian Sunni leader believed that there is no meritocracy in the country and said: “If the MPs were independent, we would not face these problems today. Some say there is religious meritocracy; which religious meritocracy you talk about? You did not appoint the people who were at the minister’s level, even as provincial directors! You just look for someone who is loyal to you, and work for you. The result is visible for everyone now.”
“If you have given the tasks to the capable people, the country would have not been paralyzed. When responsibilities and posts are not distributed according to qualifications, problems are created,” he said.

If there was “freedom of expression”, journalists were not in prison /Lawyers should have full freedom
The president of Darululoom Zahedan continued his Friday speech by saying: “In appointing ministers, directors and electing presidents, you can act like other countries of the world. When you choose people based on fanatic filters, problems increase. You are not representative of the rulers and state; you represent the people. Did you stand with people and defended the rights of the people? Did you defend justice and freedom of expression and pen?”
“If freedom there was freedom, today journalists were not in jail. I read in the news that the secretary of the lawyers association has announced that more than seventy lawyers have been summoned so for. When you summon lawyers and pressurize them, who dare to solve the people’s problems as a lawyer? Lawyers must have their own freedom. We must have freedom of expression and speech. Freedom of speech is in accordance with the rule of Islamic law. Freedom is a part of the Islamic politics,” Imam of the Grand Makki Mosque urged on freedoms.
He called for the implementation of Islamic rules and said: “In an Islamic state, only a decree is approved that is the rule of Shari’ah, not a personal viewpoint. Some companions did not even accept the holy prophet’s consult. People criticized the Caliph, Ali may Allah be pleased with him, freely. Despite his high position, the people challenged him and criticized him. All the guided caliphs were so. When we say “Islamic state”, it should be on the path of these personalities, not what we wish.”
“I have already stated about the political Islam and Islamic politics, and said that there are two theories; our reading of Islamic politics is that politics should be subject to Islam and religion. In this reading, lies and all kinds of forbidden actions are denounced. Politics must be Islamic. As prayers, fasting, pilgrimage, and other kinds of worship should be subject to Islamic laws, policies should also be subject to Islamic laws,” said the eminent Iranian Sunni leader.

The issue of hijab cannot be solved by enacting regulations
The dignity and position of women must be preserved
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid referred to the issue of Hijab and said: “Hijab issue is one of the major concerns of officials and scholars today. Actually, Iranian women used to wear hijab, but you made them disobey. Women, who do not wear hijab today, used to wear hijab before. Wearing hijab has been the culture of Muslims and people of the East.”
He believed: “The issue of hijab will not be solved by adopting laws and creating restrictions, but it will get worse. You should find out what has caused women’s dissatisfaction; get the satisfaction of women and the nation. See how women were treated at the time of the prophet. Do not treat women violently. Treat women with respect, consult with them, avoid discrimination and violent behavior against them, then see who they accept your words.”
“Problems will not solve as long as you fight the effect, and the cause is not uprooted. Now, the people of Iran are hungry, and complain about the lack of freedom and justice. You solve these problems, other problems will be solved. Ask people about their demands. People are benefactors, and the country belongs to them. If I were you, I would give the people full authority and say that I submit to the opinion of the masses. Whatever the overwhelming majority of people say, accept it; the problems will be solved,” Khateeb of the Sunnis in Zahedan concluded his points.


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