Iraq Friday Sermons on ‘Surge’
The USG Open Source Center translates and paraphrases Iraqi Friday prayers sermons, some of which speak of the ongoing “Surge.”
|Iraqi Friday Sermons for 16 Mar Discuss Security Plan, Political Process
Iraq– OSC Summary
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Major Iraqi television channels – Baghdad Al-Iraqiyah, Baghdad Baghdad Satellite Channel, Baghdad Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad Al-Furat, Cairo Al-Baghdadiyah, and Baghdad Al-Diyar. [These stations] are observed on 16 March to carry the following reports on Friday sermons: Al-Iraqiyah: Within its 1700 GMT newscast, Baghdad Al-Iraqiyah Television in Arabic – government-sponsored television station, run by the Iraqi Media Network – cites Shaykh Wasfi al-Hurayshawi, imam and preacher of the two Al-Askari Imams Mosque in Basra, as “recalling the Halabjah crime, which claimed the lives of thousands of the city’s sons. The preacher also denounced the crimes Saddam had committed against the Iraqis during his era.”
The following is a report by Al-Iraqiyah correspondent in Basra Sabah al-Mansuri: “Friday prayers were performed at all mosques and Husayniyat in Basra. At the worship place of the two Al-Askari imams, may God’s peace be upon them, Shaykh Wasfi al-Hurayshawi called for the unity of Muslims, especially since the Islamic world is today celebrating the anniversary of the death of the great prophet, may God’s peace and prayers be upon him.” The correspondent adds that the preacher spoke about the anniversary of the “17 March massacre and the victims of the Halabjah massacre as two important stations in the history of the Iraqi struggle.” The correspondent says: “The Friday sermon also called on the Iraqi Government to pay attention to the services, which affect the Iraqi citizen’s daily life.”
Baghdad Satellite Channel: Baghdad Baghdad Satellite Television in Arabic – television channel believed to be sponsored by the Iraqi Islamic Party, at 0945 GMT is observed to carry a live relay of a Friday sermon delivered by Shaykh Hashim al-Ta’i from an unidentified mosque in Baghdad. After praising God and His prophet, Al-Ta’i says: “The Iraqis and those interested in the Iraqi affairs, and Muslims everywhere, these days speak about force and the use of force, excessive force, whose use is the talk of the people in this world. There are two extremes regarding the use of force. One group views force as being everything. This group says that the United States has occupied Iraq by force and is imposing its agenda by force. Israel also rejects the resolutions of the international legitimacy through force.” He adds: “Another group views force in a different way. It says that mankind has got sick of the gun. Is it not the right time to use wisdom and to have mercy on man who got fed up of force and of the scenes of blood and dead bodies here and there? A third group makes connection between political wisdom, shrewdness, and the use of force.” Speaking about how Islam views force, Al-Ta’i says that many of God’s attributes are related to power. He adds: “If we talk about God’s power, we will see that all others are dwarfs.” He says: “The powerful and the source of power is Almighty God.” He says that the one who thinks that he is strong and powerful should bear in mind that he will one day meet God to punish him for the injustice he inflicted on other people. The preacher continues to speak about the meanings of power and force in all walks of life. Speaking about the current situation in Iraq, Al-Ta’i says: “We should not escalate fighting and rhetoric that worsens our division. This is particularly true since we have been living together for centuries. No party can cancel or annihilate the other party. This will not take place. I should seek my brother’s wisdom and merge his power with mine. If he is not convinced today, he will be convinced tomorrow.”
Al-Sharqiyah: 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 not observed to carry any reports on today’s Friday sermons.
Al-Furat: Within its 1700 GMT newscast, Baghdad Al-Furat Television Channel in Arabic – television channel affiliated with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) led by Abd-al-Aziz al-Hakim, cites Shaykh Jalal al-Din al-Saghir, imam and preacher of the Buratha Mosque, as saying: “Shall we abrogate the constitution, bring the entire political process to a halt, and cancel the elections and the parliament so that a certain group will bring one or two of its members to participate in the political process? This is madness. This is the Ba’thist way.”
Within the same newscast, Sabah al-Sa’idi, imam and preacher of Al-Rahman Mosque, expressed support for the security plan and called on all political blocs to participate in it in order to make it a success. He criticized some officials’ abandonment of the government in an attempt to foil it. He says: “The Iraqis who participated in the government are partners in the government. If the government succeeds this will be a success for them, and if the government fails this will be failure for everyone. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki should not be the only one responsible for this.”
At 1820 GMT, the channel carries an episode of its weekly “Friday Sermons” program. The program shows Shaykh Muhammad al-Haydari, imam and preacher of the Al-Khillani Mosque, saying: “There has recently been a move by some regional, international, and Iraqi local circles. This move has now become clearer. It is aimed at internationalizing the Iraqi issue. This means that Iraq will turn into an issue whose future will be decided by the United Nations, the big powers, and the Arab League. There is a move by regional and European states, and the statement of the Arab League’s secretary general in this regard was also clear. This also applies to some Iraqi political forces and to Adnan Pachachi’s statement two days ago. What do they want? They want to abrogate the constitution, the results of the elections, meaning the parliament, and the Council of Ministers.” He adds that this means that the “United Nations and some other states will determine Iraq’s future political map.” Al-Haydari says that these sides claim that they are concerned over a “sectarian strife” in Iraq. He adds: “We say take your hands off Iraq and Iraq will become stable, especially since support for terrorism mainly comes from abroad.”
Shaykh Jalal-al-Din al-Saghir, imam and preacher of the Buratha Mosque, speaks about the incidents that took place in the Nadir neighborhood in Al-Hillah. He says: “What took place in the Nadir neighborhood in Al-Hillah was unique in the history of the world, but not in the history of this sect (Shiite).” He says that the people continued their march although they “knew that the human monsters will be lying in wait for them, and that the treacherous ones, the makers of the booby-trapped cars, explosive charges, and explosive belts will seize every opportunity to attack them.” Al-Saghir says: “We are aware of what is taking place in Diyala. We are also aware of its causes. Our pains are great in that governorate. However, the measures that have been taken, particularly this time, reassure us that God willing, solutions will be coming to the Diyala Governorate. I call on the Sunni and Shiite tribes in the governorate to cooperate with the coordination council that was formed for the Diyala Governorate. This council includes Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds in order to redress the security and services situation in Diyala. We know that the ration quotas have not reached Diyala. However, I was promised yesterday that the government will send the ration quotas for the past six months to all the Diyala families, but after securing the road, God willing. All sides should cooperate with their brothers in the Iraqi Army’s Fifth Division there and with their brothers in the Interior Ministry’s security forces in order to crush terrorism in that area.”
He adds: “I tell all terrorists there, particularly in the Ba’qubah area, to think and leave that area because God willing, security is coming to that area. They either come back to this people so that they and this people enjoy security and stability, or they should be held responsible for their continued presence against the will of the Iraqi people, taking into consideration that the Iraqi people are now united against terrorism and terrorists.” He says that the Iraqi people should know that these terrorist groups “do not want a Sunni, Shiite, Iraqi, but they want some people to work as slaves for the leaders of this terrorism so that the aid they receive from abroad will continue.” He says: “In addition to this, the evil efforts that are made by the (Mujahedin-e) Khalq Organization in that area will end very soon, especially since the government is determined not to allow anyone from the camp of evil and hypocrisy leave or enter without its knowledge. There will be government forces there to be in charge of the security area. They either go back to their countries or seek refuge with any other country. The US Government and the United Nations should think seriously of deporting them to any other country. Iraq has enough problems that do not tolerate the continued presence of such criminals who had previously shed Iraqi blood during the uprising. They had also served as oppressive services in the hands of the criminal regime of Saddam, and they have returned today to finance, train, and protect the herds of terrorists in those areas.” Shaykh Hazim al-A’raji, imam and preacher of the Al-Kazimiyah Mosque, speaks about the anniversary of the death of the prophet. He says that Prophet Muhammad moved mankind from the “worship of the idol” to the “ultimate divine happiness.” Shaykh Sabah al-Sa’idi, imam and preacher of Al-Rahman Mosque, says: “Demonstrations, sit-ins, or strikes constitute a civilized way of demanding legislative rights.” However, he adds that calling for releasing Ali Hasan al-Majid is not legitimate because this man is a “murderer.” He adds: “This also applies to the so-called Tariq Aziz. We have learned from some sources that negotiations are underway to release him. We warn against tampering with the blood of the Iraqi people.” Shaykh Abd-al-Mahdi al-Karbala’i, imam and preacher of the Karbala Mosque, reads from a statement on the Iraqi teachers’ complaints regarding their salaries. The imam says that this applies to all state employees, and not only the teachers. He expresses hope that the government officials will respond positively to this complaint. Shaykh Sadr-al-Din al-Salihi, imam and preacher of Al-Najaf al-Ashraf Mosque, says: “We should praise the Baghdad conference. It is a step that will be followed by another step, God willing, on 15 April, which will also be a conference for the neighboring countries. This is a success for the Iraqi diplomacy and security services. We also hope that this conference will bring a new Iraqi success. We should also laud the security plan and the successes it has achieved.” He adds: “We should also laud the cabinet reshuffle plan. There has been determination for several months in this regard. We hope that this determination will materialize.” He says that this should apply to the Council of Representatives, adding: “There are some elements who contribute to acts of terrorism while at the same time they are members of the Council of Representatives.” He says that the people are waiting for the process of “purging” the Council of Representatives. He denounces acts of terrorism in all Iraqi areas because “they target innocent people.” He adds that “these people care less about confronting the occupation, but their main concern is to fragment the Iraqis. We laud the Iraqis’ patience, steadfastness, and endurance.” Speaking about acts of violence in Iraq, an unidentified preacher at an unidentified mosque says: “You can see these successive incidents. If you look right, you will see the shedding of a pure and inviolable blood by a booby-trapped car, an explosive belt, a bomb, or a bullet. Regrettably, this killing, shedding of blood, and the taking of human life, which is honored by God, most of the time take place in the name of Islam.” Speaking about the security plan, Shaykh Hasan al-Zamili, imam and preacher of the Al-Diwaniyah Mosque, says: “You have heard about the large number of terrorists who were killed or arrested. You have also heard about the weapons, ammunition, and the booby-trapped cars. During the first days of the security plan, they began a fierce campaign with booby-trapped cars, bombs, explosive belts, and rockets. There was support for this by the hostile media with the aim of aborting and foiling this security plan in any way.” He adds: “The security plan, however, achieved a great success. Through this success, political successes have been achieved. They coincided with the success of the security plan. A political victory was achieved for Iraq and this government through the international conference. When this conference was announced, the same sides and personalities from inside and outside Iraq moved and wagered on foiling it.” Al-Baghdadiyah: Cairo Al-Baghdadiyah Satellite Television in Arabic.