What are Sunnis’ Main Demands? Shaikh Ab. Hamid Responds

What are Sunnis’ Main Demands? Shaikh Ab. Hamid Responds

In a meeting with the heads of Sunni seminaries of the Sistan-Balochistan province, the most influential Iranian Sunni leader shed light on the main demands of the Iranian Sunni community asking for removal of pressures and discriminations, boosting and saving the weak economy, and resolving the case of Zahedan’s Bloody Friday justly.
The chairman of the Coordination Council of Sunni Seminaries in Sistan-Balochistan urged on maintaining the independence of seminaries, religious and tribal leaders.
The first meeting of the rectors and principals of Islamic seminaries in the current academic year was held in Darululoom Zahedan, Iran on August 3, 2023.
“Our demands are summarized into three pivots: national, ethnic, and religious demands, and we pursue the issue of the Bloody Fridays of Zahedan and Khash,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid said.

The government has not fulfilled any of its promises to Sunnis
The prominent Iranian Sunni scholar said: “Before the Bloody Friday incident in Zahedan, the religious pressure on the Sunnis was intensified, and they faced more restrictions in some cities. So some prayer rooms were closed, and many others were threatened to be closed. We raised these issues during the Friday prayers ceremonies and in the meeting with the officials in Tehran, but the officials not only did not solve these problems, rather they did not show the will to solve them.”
He continued: “The religious pressures on Sunnis coincided with the issue of hijab and with Mahsa Amini’s death. A few days after Mahsa Amini’s passing, the incident of Zahedan’s Bloody Friday took place. This incident was such a great injustice that it cannot be ignored and neglected. While the sound of gunshots was still heard, I called on people to remain calm and to maintain the security in a televised message. The people listened to me and a great sedition and further bloodshed were prevented. It became clear to many officials in Tehran, especially to the Supreme Leader, that people were killed and injured unjustly in this tragic incident.”

“The Bloody Friday incident in Zahedan was not a human error, but it was a deliberate action and the result of discriminations that our community has been struggling with for forty-four years. The punishment of the perpetrators of this incident is the demand of all people. When a group of innocent people was killed in the 1993 incident that took place in the Grand Makki Mosque (Zahedan) after the demolition of the Shaikh Faiz Mosque in Mashhad, officials did not punish the perpetrators of that massacre. That negligence caused the bloody Friday incident of Zahedan. If those criminals were dealt with, we would not have witnessed this incident today,” the Friday prayer leader of Sunnis in Zahedan expressed his views.
“Our people will not be satisfied until the perpetrators behind the Bloody Friday are not punished, and the crime is not condemned by officials,” he said.
“In the recent presidential election, we voted for the fundamentalists because all three branches of the power were aligned, so we wanted to prevent the vulnerable Sunni community from more harm. As well as, the fundamentalists said to experience us once. They did not fulfill any of their promises, rather they created more problems,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid made it clear.

We think about humanity, and we are with the entire nation
The Iranian top Sunni cleric went on to say: “We are not affiliated with any government or movement inside or outside the country. We are independent and think for the interests of all Iranians. Our path is the path of moderation, and we condemn extremism. We believe in moderate Islam and do not associate with extremist people. This is the way of moderation. We think about humanity and seek the interests of all people. We are with the entire nation. Now, a unique unity has been established among the Iranian people.”
“Our demands are summarized in three axes. First, we pursue the interests of all Iranian people. Secondly, we say that the ethnic and religious problems must be solved and the third is the issue of Bloody Fridays. Recently, we have reduced ethnic and religious demands, and we are emphasizing more on national demands, because if the national problems are solved, all ethnic and religious problems will be solved,” Imam of the Grand Makki Mosque underlined.
He criticized the arrest and detention of a number of scholars and activists in Iran and said: “In the recent events, if the authorities had solved the problems with wisdom, we would not have seen the current situation today. It would have been better to arrest those who killed innocent people on the Bloody Friday, instead of arresting critics and sympathizers.”

Changing domestic policies is more important than establishing foreign relations
The officials have not taken even one step to solve the problems of the people
Regarding Iran’s new diplomatic relations with some countries, Shaikh Abdol-Hamid noted: “Iran’s relations with all the countries of the world, not only with undeveloped and poor countries, was the demand of all Iranians. Recently, steps have been taken in this regard, but it is more important to amend the domestic policies. Solving internal problems and giving priority to the nation is more important than making relations with other countries. We have said many times that if you want to bring changes in domestic policies, at least your opponents inside will reduce.”

Scholars and tribal elders should maintain their independence
In the last part of his speech among the top Sunni scholars of Sistan-Balochistan, the eminent Iranian Sunni leader said: “I am grateful to those who maintained their independence in recent events. The honor and dignity of the scholars must be maintained and the preservation of the reputation of Islam is vital. Ulama should be depending only on the Almighty Allah.”
“The stances of scholars in the recent events have been very effective, preventing the young from irreligiousness. Scholars should try to define their position wisely and reasonably, not emotionally. Make understand the trustees and tribal elders to not be an extra and spear carrier for others, but must be with the people and preserve the independence and achievements of their fathers and ancestors, and not lose them,” Shaikh Abdol-Hamid insisted.


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