Iraq Sermons Call for Sunni-Shiite Unity Condemn Biden Plan

The USG Open Source Center translates passages from Friday sermons carried on Iraqi television:

Round-up of Iraqi Friday Sermons 5 Oct
Iraq — OSC Summary
Saturday, October 6, 2007

. . . Within its 1800 GMT newscast, Baghdad Al-Iraqiyah Television in Arabic – government-sponsored television station, run by the Iraqi Media Network – is observed to carry the following report on today’s Friday sermons:

“In a Friday sermon, Shaykh Jalal-al-Din al-Saghir [Shiite, Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq], imam and preacher of the Buratha Mosque, has called for the implementation of Article 140 on the Kirkuk issue in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution. He stressed the need to implement this article in all other areas. Shaykh Jalal-al-Din al-Saghir also urged members of the [Sunni Arab tribal militias or] awakenings to put themselves at the disposal of the security services.”

Shaykh al-Saghir says: “I say that we are with the constitution, and we want this article to be implemented fully in all areas. We do not accept that this article be implemented in one area and not implemented in other areas. There is a problem in Kirkuk and we should solve this problem. However, this does not mean that we should forget about the problems of Balad, Al-Dujayl, Karbala, and other areas. All these files should be arranged and proceed together in order to establish justice regarding this issue.”

Al-Saghir adds: “The other issue I would like to discuss and to draw attention to is the issue of the groups of the so-called awakening in Al-Ghazaliyah, Al-Amiriyah, Al-Saydiyah, and other areas. You may recall, and the whole world may recall, that we called for forming popular committees from the very beginning. We said that the terrorists will not be able to enter these areas if they are protected by their people. At the time, there were no problems between Sunnis and Shiites. Sunnis and Shiites in the popular committees cooperate with each other. They know the criminal if he is one of the people in that area and they do not give shelters to strangers.”

The report adds: “Hazim al-A’raji [Sadrist], imam and preacher of the Al-Kazimiyah Friday sermon, has called on Iraqis to make the last 10 days of Ramadan days of Islamic and national unity and of reactivating the process of national reconciliation.”

Discussing the US Senate’s decision on the partitioning of Iraq, Al-A’raji says: “The infidels still want to partition Iraq. What did Ali (Bin-Abi-Talib, the fourth Orthodox Caliph in Islam) tell them when they wanted to partition the greater Islamic state at the time? Ali told them: No to compromise solutions and no to partition. And today we also say no to partition.”

The report says: “Shaykh Ala Abd-al-Wahhab, imam and preacher of the Yusuf al-Hassan Mosque, has called for unity and solidarity among worshippers. He stressed the need to save the blood of Iraqis. Shaykh Abd-al-Wahhab also called for confronting anyone who seeks to destroy the bonds of brotherhood and unity among the sons of this country and also confronting the hands of darkness wherever they maybe.” . .

Baghdad Satellite Television in Arabic – television channel believed to be sponsored by the Iraqi Islamic Party – is observed to carry at 0910 GMT a Friday sermon from an unidentified mosque in Baghdad. Shaykh Hashim al-Ta’i [Sunni Arab] delivers the sermon.

In his Friday sermon, the preacher says that the “politicians in Iraq, the political trends, and parties need sieving, purification, and a sieve to distinguish the truthful from the liar, the advocate of a message from the one who claims so, and the courageous from the coward.”

The preacher adds: “The government, which appoints persons in the wrong place based on sectarian motives, should wait for its end. If it feels that it is doing its job and that it will not be changed, it then should know that the sweeping popular willpower will come sooner or later if the current situation continues as it is.”

The preacher criticizes “human rights violations” in Iraqi prisons. He says that the people will “disavow” many leaders if they feel that these leaders are not honest. He adds that “we need decisions and positions to correct the current situation and to draw the future as it should be.” He says that the “political forces and the Americans wanted to let the constitution pass in spite of us.” He says: “The rebellion of our people and brothers of the beloved Shiites in the south against the federation that divides the country will be stronger than that of the Sunnis in their cities. Believe me that this is because the people knew and realized that the enemies of Islam seek to dismember our country.”

He says: “The agencies of the defense and interior ministries should be purged. But can they be purged without a heroic action by a leader who is supported by the masses who press on his hands and push toward a change? The leader cannot do this alone. We are not like the Jews when they told Moses: “Go thou, and thy Lord, and fight ye two, while we sit here (and watch).” (Koranic verse, Al-Ma’idah, 5:24) We should be shoulder to shoulder with the leader if we are convinced of his leadership.”

He says: “Foreign interference is rejected. One should not be a humiliated underling to the foreigner who gives him instructions on everything. This is rejected. We refuse to allow the humiliated underling to lead the country.”

Within its 1700 GMT newscast, Baghdad Al-Sharqiyah Television in Arabic – independent, private news and entertainment channel focusing on Iraq, run by Sa’d al-Bazzaz, publisher of the Arabic language daily Al-Zaman – is observed to carry the following report on today’s Friday sermons:

“The Friday preacher of the Al-Khillani Mosque in central Baghdad has called on the Iraqi political forces to unite in order to foil the partition intentions, which were expressed in the US Senate’s decision early this week, taking into consideration that they pose danger to everyone. In his sermon, Muhammad al-Haydari [Sunni Arab] urged the government of the Kurdistan Region to confront these intentions, stressing that they will also be harmed by them when they will find themselves surrounded by states that do not want the establishment of a Kurdish state.”

Al-Haydari says: “The Iraqi political forces should make efforts to safeguard Iraq’s unity. If there are differences among these forces, they should put them aside for the sake of Iraq’s unity, especially since the partitioning of Iraq harms everyone, and, in fact, it harms the entire region.”

The report adds: “Friday preachers in the city of Mosul, in northern Iraq, have appealed to the Iraqi Government to take action to put an end to the violation of the sanctity of mosques and the killing of imams and to achieve security. At the same time, a number of mosques in Mosul refrained from performing the usual rituals in denunciation of the assassination of men of religion in the city over the past days. Shaykh Bilal Muhammad, imam and preacher of the Al-Khadr Mosque, said the Iraqi Government, which remained silent over what is taking place in Mosul, should put an end to these assassinations that targeted men of religion in the governorate and in all Iraq.” . .

Within its 1700 GMT newscast, Baghdad Al-Furat Television Channel in Arabic – television channel affiliated with the Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council (IISC) [ISCI} led by Abd-al-Aziz al-Hakim [Shiite], carries the following report on today’s Friday sermons:

“Friday imams and preachers in Baghdad have blessed the unified positions of the Iraqi people in confronting terrorism and the gangs of organized crime. The preachers praised the popular actions in support of the government and the denunciation of all forms of violence and extremism.”

Shaykh Muhammad al-Haydari says: “All sides have confronted Al-Qa’ida. The Sunnis, Shiites, Arabs, Kurds, and Turkomen have confronted Al-Qa’ida and managed to repulse it. Many blows have been dealt to Al-Qa’ida, which is fleeing from one area to another in the hope of finding a shelter in this or that area, but it has failed.”

Shaykh Jalal-al-Din al-Saghir says: “Sunnis and Shiites in the popular committees cooperate with each other. They know the criminal if he is one of the people in that area and they do not give shelters to strangers. The plight in these areas is the strangers. From the very beginning we said that the people should contribute to the security solution. The people should not stand watching and seeing themselves killed only because the state and the Americans want to be in charge of this issue.”

The channel carries an episode of its weekly “Friday Sermons” program at 1820 GMT, as follows:

Shaykh Al-Saghir says: “The Americans should realize that the success that was achieved in Al-Anbar does not necessarily mean that it will be achieved in Baghdad, taking into consideration that Al-Anbar is one fabric and the people there are not militia, but they have prepared themselves in order to defend Al-Anbar against Al-Qa’ida.”

Shaykh Al-Haydari says: “The situation was not restored as it was before in the areas from which Al-Qa’ida was kicked out. However, it was clear that there was a division on the ground to make this area a Sunni and that area a Shiite. Only small groups of the displaced people have returned to their areas.”

He adds: “The same thing applies to Diyala. For a long time the US forces have not taken any action in Diyala despite the killing operations and the displacement on sectarian basis.”

Shaykh Sadr-al-Din al-Qabbanji [Shiite, ISCI], imam and preacher of the Al-Najaf Friday sermon, says: “We celebrate the Jerusalem Day anniversary in solidarity with Islam, the first Qiblah (Al-Aqsa Mosque where Muslims used to turn to in their prayers before they were ordered to turn to Ka’ba), and with a general Islamic issue. Jerusalem is not only for Shiites, Sunnis, Arabs, or Persians, but it belongs to them all. We sympathize with Jerusalem out of Islamic, Arab, national, and humanitarian principles. So, let the issue be clear. We sympathize out of principles.”

The preacher praises Khomeyni and says that “this great man has raised high the head of Islam and Muslims, particularly the Shiites.”

He says that Muslims celebrate this day because Jerusalem is the only issue on which “all Muslims unite,” and because “Israel is an illegitimate state.” He says that the “Palestinian infighting between HAMAS and Fatah is a stab in the heart of the plan of the liberation of Palestine.”

Al-Qabbanji says: “The last issue is the new civilized, ideological, and religious turning point in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its confrontation of the takfir (holding other Muslims to be infidels), terrorism, and false masks in the name of Jihad. We all heard the fatwa (religious ruling) and statements by the general mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Abd-al-Aziz Al Al-Shaykh, who advised the youth to refrain from carrying out acts of terrorism outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which are called Jihad, including in Iraq. He said that I advise these people not to make themselves tools in the hands of unknown and dishonest elements. This is a fact. I am talking about Iraq now. What is taking place in Iraq in particular in the name of Jihad is a killing of the Iraqi people and innocents and it is not a Jihad against the occupation and the arrogant ones. It is a dismembering of Iraqi unity and a defense of Saddam and his group.”

He adds: “You may have heard the statement of the Ba’th Party, the wing of Izzat al-Duri, who said that we carry out 80 percent of the operations that are carried out in Iraq. Praise be to God, these operations are carried out by the Izzat al-Duri’s group and the Ba’th Party. This is the Jihad in Iraq. This means that it is the Jihad of the Saddam group. It is the Jihad of the Ba’th Party. This means mass graves. Praise be to God, the truth is revealed now to the effect that the Ba’th Party is behind what is taking place in Iraq. There is a black ideology of terrorists who came from abroad. Praise be to God. So, you just wait to see that there is a new turning point in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The truth is that this is a key fatwa. I have watched the Saudi satellite channels and found out that there is a turning point toward ideological moderation and the renunciation of terrorism.”

Shaykh Hasan al-Zamili, [Shiite] imam and preacher of the Al-Diwaniyah Friday sermon, says: “There are the killing of scholars, preachers, and the representatives of the religious authorities; the violation of sanctities; and the organized political liquidations and assassinations. They know who is behind these assassinations and actions. The perpetrators of these acts are now being interrogated and have clearly confessed to their crimes.”

He adds: “The government is required to punish the killers and to announce their confessions to the public.” He says: “This covering, collusion, and silence have encouraged the criminals to violate the sanctity of Al-Husayn Shrine and burn what they have burned in Karbala. I say now and I have said it before, the government knows, the Council of Representatives knows, and the committees that were formed know who the killers are.”