Iran’s Sunni leader amid nationwide protests:

We Believe in Islamic Politics, not Political Islam

We Believe in Islamic Politics, not Political Islam

The most influential Iranian Sunni leader distinguished between political Islam and Islamic politics amid a heavy crackdown in Zahedan. He believed that the both conceptions have been discussing in the Islamic world.

Talking to the people of Zahedan in the presence of tens of thousands of worshippers on Feb 24, 2023, the Iranian top Sunni cleric said: “One reading is the political Islam and the other is the reading of Islamic Politics. These are two separate conceptions. Political Islam means Islam is a political religion. However, we say that the religion of Islam considers the needs and benefits of the people in both worlds. In political Islam, religion follows politics. This is the political Islam. Early the revolution, one of the Friday Imams of Tehran determined a framework for Islam and said: we should move in this framework and should not go beyond it. The founder of the Islamic Republic said: whatever the politics demands is the framework of Islam. In this reading, Islam is subject to political interests.”

In Islamic politics, people determine the ruling people, not God
The Friday prayer leader of Sunnis in Zahedan continued his speech by saying: “The second reading that is our reading is the Islamic politics. It means that politics should be subject to the religion; politics cannot go beyond the framework of the religion. In this reading, we cannot do the things what the religion has forbidden. This reading means that religion is not political, but politics should be set up in accordance with the religion of Islam.”
“This reading says that politics is a branch of the religion, and politics must move within the framework of religion. The ruler cannot interfere in what religion has forbidden. In the reading of Islamic politics, the Caliph cannot move beyond the law, whether he is the Caliph Abu Bakr Siddiq, Omar Farooq, Osman, or Ali, or if he is the president or any other top state official, “the president of Darululoom Zahedan noted.
He added more: “Readings and conceptions are different in the Muslim world. We believe that politics should be within the framework of religion and Islamic regulations. There are many differences in readings and conceptions. The legislature; the Islamic Consultative Assembly, the judiciary, the Guardian Council and other state organs should move within the framework of Islam. If their performances are not matched with the Sharia, they are not applicable”.
“Our reading of Islam has many commonalities with today’s democracy. In Islamic politics, people choose anyone they want and they can do what they want. Allah has given these powers and opportunities to people. If people choose anyone, that is the legitimate ruler,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid underlined.

Our readings emphasize on human rights
The eminent Iranian Sunni scholar expressed his viewpoints of Islamic politics, saying: “In this reading that I have described some of its differences, respect of the accused must be maintained in the presence of interrogators. An interrogator cannot insult or force the accused to confess. The judiciary has its own independence, and is not an agent of anyone. The judiciary is submitting only to the truth. The ruler appoints judges, but a judge is not the agent of him; the judge follows the right and truth and implements justice. In Islamic politics, a judge has complete freedom and can summon the Caliph of Muslims as the judge Shuraih summoned the caliph Ali, may Allah be pleased with him. The Caliph could fire the judge, but he himself presented to the judge for a case where a Jew claimed against him. When the caliph Ali provided two witnesses, the judge accepted one witness and rejected the other one; so the Jewish man won the case. There is no such freedom in today’s democracies.”
Imam of the Grand Makki Mosque of Zahedan said: “In many issues, we are ahead of democracy and human rights’ organizations and systems. This reading believes in the modern human rights with some differences. When the caliph Omar ordered that the dowry should not be high, an old woman raised her voice and said: dowry is an agreement matter! You cannot interfere in this issue. The caliph Omar stopped for a moment, and said: I wish may Omar understand as this old woman; she is right. It is freedom that a woman can stand before the first person of Islamic government and says the right, and Amir surrenders to her.”
“In this reading, an accused can defend him\herself and his\her position should be preserved. This reading says that only justice can maintain the territorial integrity of the country, and security and justice are important. The peace and security come with the implementation of justice, and by listening to the voices of people,” the Friday prayer leader of Sunnis in Zahedan stated.

Do not collect money for yourself and your children
“A responsible authority never abuses his power and position, and does not collect money for his children. Unfortunately, in our country, the word Aghazadeh (children of the lords) is common. The children of authorities have achieved many things in the country. If someone wants to succeed, s\he must act as the holy Prophet David, the holy Prophet Solomon, and the holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them, acted. The holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, satiated and feed the people, and spent his life in hungry,” said the most outstanding Iranian Sunni scholar in his Friday sermons of Zahedan.

Economic problems are results of wrong foreign and domestic policies
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid referred to the severe economic pressures in Iran amid nationwide protests and said: “In our county, today, people are under severe economic pressures. They cannot even buy bread and meat. Today we are facing such a situation as the result of wrong domestic and foreign policies. Today, the Iranian people suffer from critical economic conditions. The inflation soars. The value of dollar has reached 52 thousand tomans. All the wealth and assets of the people are lost. What people have sold, they cannot afford to buy again. Those whose wages are three or five million, and even the employees of armed forces who receive more salaries, are in troubles. People do not know how to answer their family members.”
“As a compassionate, I would like to ask the officials: Why a rich country like Iran with ancient civilization which had treasures, faces such a bad economic condition? I believe that these problems are not rooted in the economic matters, but in political issues. When our domestic and foreign policies are wrong, the result is reversed. Accept that your policies are wrong. We are well-wishers, not the enemy. Some people cannot even afford to buy bread and meat. We heard that one kilogram of meat in Tehran and elsewhere has reached a half million tomans. Who can buy meat today? Meat is the need for people. The salaries of employees, including the military offices are not sufficient. The value of our money is less than the past. That is why people came to the streets to demonstrate. Mostly, ordinary people suffer from these pressures and endure difficulties,” said the Iranian Sunni leader.

As long as you do not confess to your past mistakes, the change is not possible
The top Sunni cleric of Zahedan went on to say: “To improve the economic situation, you must change internal and external policies. Today, billions of Tomans have no value. As long as you do not confess to your past mistakes, the change is not possible. If you cannot serve the people, get a side and let others serve the nation. Be sure that you cannot rule the people with stake. Instead of imprisoning people, free them and see what they say. Listen to the voice of critics and opponents.”
“If you cannot solve the problems, let others solve them. It is common that when a responsible official cannot do her\his job, s\he goes away. Many rulers resigned, and said that they could not solve the problems of the people. To solve the problems, presidents, prime ministers and first-class officials resign. Here in our country, the authorities do not go away. Many screamed for reformation. The country faces a certain crisis. There is a need for fundamental changes,” the president of Darululoom Zahedan further said.

Give Iranian nation priority
The Iranian Baloch top Sunni cleric said: “Officials should think of the national interests of the country. They must put the Iranian nation first. Do not let the Iranian nation die from hunger and get involved in corruption due to poverty. Poverty leads to corruption. Do not let the people resort to begging and robbery. Iran’s nation is important. Think of national interests.”
He underlined: “What happens in other countries, that is not your business; focus on the interest of our own country. Spend everything on this nation and give it priority. First, this nation should be saved from poverty and corruption.”

One security man cannot kill one hundred and wound three hundred
Regarding the remarks of one of the local provincial high-ranking authorities about the Bloody Friday incident of Zahedan, the president of Darululoom Zahedan said: “In the last week, one of the high-ranking authorities of the province expressed some points about the bloody Friday incident of Zahedan for the first time. He called Zahedan’s bloody incident as a disaster. The man believed that the worshipers were killed unjustly. He announced the deaths of martyrs and stated that people were killed cruelly. This official believed that people were not separatists and terrorists, unlike the first statements of the officials.”
“We consider these words as a positive and good step. I wish he would have said these words before. We do not move beyond the truth,” said Mawlana Abdol-Hamid.

About 17 children were killed in the bloody Friday
The Friday Khateeb of Zahedan said: “Our people were shot from four sides in this Musalla and street. People were targeted inside and outside Musalla. About 100 people were martyred and nearly 300 people were injured. Eighty of them are still under treatment. Seventeen have been blinded fully or partly. About sixteen to seventeen children were killed that day. One of the injured women called Zarbibi Isma’eelzahi died in recent days. May Allah have mercy on her.”
Shaikh Abdol-Hamid thanked the people for being patient and maintaining security, and said: “The incident was very bitter and tragic. I thank all of you because of your patience. You waited until the reality was determined; it was the result of your patience and obedience. Some attributed the crime to one policeman, but we are not convinced. One person can kill only few people. It is clear that many attacked this large population. We expect that the perpetrators of this crime would be hanged in front of this Musalla. We want justice to be implemented.”
“We think of national interests, not only the interests of the people of Zahedan and the province of Balochistan. For peace, solve the issues of the country. If you solve these issues, people will not go to the streets. Solve the issue of the nation. We have been emphasizing on national interests. I told the presidents always whenever I met them to focus on national interests. In the election, our first condition has been national interests,” he underlined.

Officials should clarify the fact about the suspicious death of Ebrahim Rigi
Pointing out to the suspicious death of Ebrahim Rigi, one of the protesters of Zahedan, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said: “Mr. Ibrahim Rigi lost his life in a suspicious incident. Officials have to investigate this issue and tell the people what exactly happened.”


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