30 Years after Revolution; pressure upon Sunnis multiplied

30 Years after Revolution; pressure upon Sunnis multiplied

Summery of Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdul Hameed’s interview with Nedaye Islam on the occasion of “Islamic Revolution of Iran” which has been entered in its fourth decade.

On the occasion of the arrival of Islamic Revolution in Iran to its fourth decade, Nedaay Islam International magazine interviewed the leader of Sunnis in Iran, Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdul Hameed. First of all, he was asked about the causes that led to the collapse of Pahlavi regime.
According to Mawlana, political tyranny, suppression, dependency to foreigners, oppression and injustice, lack of freedom of expression, political suffocation and bureaucratic and moral corruption were the main factors that pushed people of Iran to revolt against monarchism.
However, he clarified that during previous regime, there have not been any religious or ideological approach in the governing body, so, no discriminative treatment had been exercised in respect to other religions or sects. Mawlana regarded it as a positive point for monarchic regime.
Explaining the role of late Mawlana Abdul Aziz _ the ex-leader of Sunnis in Iran- in the victory of Islamic revolution Mawlana Abdul Hamid said: “Mawlana Abdul Aziz played an important and active role in the victory of Islamic revolution. Although Mawlana Abdul Aziz insisted on securing the dignity of different religions and nationalities and their share in power particularly in those provinces where they are in majority, he was opposed to any separatist movement emphasizing on the territorial integrity of Iran. He was also very conscious on co-existence and brotherhood of all Iranians.”
Mawlana enumerated the founding of the Ettehad-ul- Muslemin Party, taking part in the elections for Assembly of Experts for Writing Constitution and constituting the Council of Shams as Mawlana Abdul Aziz’s major achievements during the period of 1978-1981.
He said: “The Sunnis and Mawlana Abdul Aziz at the time of writing the constitution made tremendous efforts insisting that only Islam should be mentioned as official religion without naming any particular sec. however, this demand was not accepted and in practice series of discriminative treatments against Sunnis were begun.  But the Sunnis, keeping in mind the national interests and expediency of the country remained at the mainstream participating to every public or national events such as elections, demonstrations etc…”.
“By 1983, the recruitment of Sunnites in armed-forces was stopped. Although this kind of treatment was clear violation of constitution, it was clear these discriminative policies were being chalked and introduced from sources linked to the peak of power pyramid” Mawlana added.
Discussing the reformation era of President Khatami Mawlana Abdul Hamid said: “When reformists won an open political atmosphere come into being and the Sunnites also took an easier breath feeling little free, however, during that period too the Sunnites did not get the place they deserve. They did not receive any share from the power inherited from the conservatives, and their elites and experts were not taken on board”.
Referring to Ahmadinejad tenure as the worst period for Sunnites in terms of religious freedom as well as their share in power Mawlana stated: “During the ninth government under presidency of Ahmadinejad gradually pressure upon Sunnites got increased, and since last two years it has been at peak”. “Unfortunately, the Sunnites are stepping to the fourth decade of victory of Islamic revolution in a condition that pressure upon them is multiplied as compared to past, and the atmosphere of frustration and disillusionment is prevalent as they do not see any bright and deserving future for themselves in this country”. He added.
Mawlana further regarded Sunnites as best factor through them the Islamic Republic of Iran could contact with Islamic world where Sunnites are in majority. He categorized the demands of Sunnites into two categories:
First, involvement of Sunnis in political and administrative decision making at both national and provincial level as well as removal of all forms of discrimination being exercised against them in their recruitment for civil service. Second: ensuring religious freedom of Sunnites that recently has been facing with some challenges from government side. However, he emphasized that expectations of Sunnites are not any sort of prerogatives; rather, they are within the framework of constitution and in accordance to their citizenry and religious rights.
Referring to the disappointment of Sunnites form both Conservatives and Reformists as result of thirty-year-old prejudiced ideological and religious atmosphere Molana stated that it did not seem the Sunnites could get their due rights in the near future.
In response to the question that how he would see the future perspective of Iran in the fourth decade of victory of Islamic revolution and which factors would be determinant for an ideal and better future, he said: “The future of Iran depends to two very important factors: first, competent economic administration of the country that is possible through spending oil and non-oil revenues at the right place, so that tackle down the issues such as poverty and unemployment.
Second, political, social and religious freedom. People should have rights to express their views and constructive critiques about the rulers. Iran should be for all Iranians not for a particular ethnic, wing or religion. All nationalities and religions should have representation and feel that they are contributing in their country’s affairs. The achievement of the above goals would consolidate national unity and national security thus strengthens the foundations of Islamic Republic.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts