Recently a popular Iranian daily newspaper interviewed Shaikh Abdol-Hamid in Zahedan, the most influential Iranian Sunni leader. The journalist of the paper asked him questions on different domestic and regional issues. Here is a summary of his interview:
*I think Madrassa (Islamic schools) should be independent without affinity with any specific state. Then they can advise the power-holders and rulers. If we depend on governments, there will be some problems.
*Sunni scholars will not lose their popularity due to political activities; they work hard for people without taking part in managements and state departments. Sunni scholars only carry out their rational duties such as leading prayers and teaching Islamic sciences. Thus people like them more and mosques are full of worshipers.
*I recommend students [of Islamic seminaries] to avoid political activities. Until they study, it is better to remain in schools and seminaries.
*All expenses of Darululoom Zahedan and Grand Makki mosque are being paid by common people. We do not take any aid from any government or state.
*It has been propaganda of some elements that we receive financial aid from Saudi Arabia or other Arab states. We have not received any proposal from any place and neither we accept such aids if someone proposes. No one could prove we receive aid from abroad states; these are just baseless blames.
*When we need financial aid, we ask people for help. We think there is a particular blessing in public donations. Our elders and the predecessors have liked and preferred it.
*Generally Iranian nation has obtained vigilance and analyzes issues well. They know who is better for them and who is against their interests.
*Economy is the most important problem of the people in Sistan-Baluchistan. Even people have problem for buying bread; there is no enough agriculture.
*The border points are closed while they are the biggest potentials of our province.
*When the border is closed, people will suffer from hardships. By opening the borders security will be boosted.
*Our way is sobriety and we oppose extremism. Some people have radical views and they are not ready to accept others. Muslims should have tolerance.
*Today the Europe and US and other states unite with each other for their interests, why Muslims should not be united?
*We prefer national interests. National interests should be preferred on personal and ethnic communities’ interests.
*We sent delegations to the earthquake-hit areas in the country. People support the victims as much as they can.
*I spend my most of times in Zahedan resolving public disputes. Sometimes I travel to Tehran and inside the province of Sistan-Baluchistan. But due to some problems, I cannot travel to other parts of the country.
*In our country the graph of tolerance is low. We hope in future the conditions will be changed.
*There is no any complaint of discrimination in developmental fields. The complaint is about employment and distribution of posts in provincial and national levels. Employments of the Sunnis are very low and limited.
*We could free dozens of hostages but one of them was publicized. We worked on the thoughts without naming any particular group; we had great achievements.
*Politician is one of the Islamic commands. Islam should not political, rather politics should be Islamized. Honesty is must in Islamic political.