Friday Sermons in Iraq
The USG Open Source Center translates excerpts from the Iraqi Friday prayers sermons delivered a week ago, many of which were reacting to the Arab League Summit held in Saudi Arabia.
|Iraqi Friday Sermons for 30 Mar Discuss Arab Summit, Security, Political Process|
Saturday, March 31, 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 – are observed on 30 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 Sadr-al-Din al-Qubbanji, imam and preacher of Al-Najaf al-Ashraf Mosque, as saying that the “Riyadh summit has not achieved the minimum level of the Iraqis’ aspirations.”
For his part, Shaykh Abd-al-Hadi al-Muhammadawi, read during the Friday sermon at Al-Kufah Mosque the statement of Muqtada al-Sadr, in which he stressed that the issue of the presence of the US forces in Iraq is the business of the Iraqi people. He added that no one has the right to extend or call for maintaining this presence.”
Al-Qubbanji says: “The final statement did not condemn the takfir (holding other Muslims to be infidel) fatwas (religious rulings). The shedding of blood in Iraq is the result of these takfir fatwas. The final statement did not express support for the political process or for the persecuted Iraqi people. Here, we are trying to alert the Arabs and draw their attention to this.” Turning to the Accountability and Justice Law, which will be presented to the Council of Representatives, Al-Qubbanji says: “God be praised, there are competent people at the Council of Representatives, and the political blocs and figures can competently and carefully study and cautiously and fairly deal with this draft law. We believe that we have a host of constants. If the draft law adheres to these constants it will be alright. If the draft law conflicts with these constants it will be rejected.”
Reading the statement of Muqtada al-Sadr, Shaykh Abd-al-Hadi al-Muhammadawi says: “O wronged Iraqi people, make the whole world hear that you reject the destructive occupation and terrorism, and that you love Islam, peace, and freedom. This is in order to keep the reputation of beloved Iraq and its people clean and to cut off the tongues of lies and charlatanism that seek to harm Iraq and its people. This can be achieved by staging a unified demonstration in Al-Najaf al-Ashraf on 9 April this year in response to the call of freedom and peace.”
Speaking on the anniversary of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, Shaykh Dr Abd-al-Karim al-Khazraji says: “The Prophet, may God’s peace and blessing be upon, teaches us not to cut off a tree. Compared with the tree, the human being is more important and nobler than the tree. He also teaches us not to kill women, children, and old people. This is God’s religion, O brothers. The prophet came with a law for the whole world. However, what we currently see is that the human being has become cheap and his blood is being shed.”
In the Babil Governorate, Usamah al-Musawi, imam and preacher of Friday sermon at the Martyr Al-Sadr Office, says: “We are one of the most prominent sides participating in the political process. We have some 30 or 32 people at the parliament. We also have ministries and members of the governorate councils.” He adds: “We support the government of Al-Maliki. This is why they seek to harm and provoke us in order to topple the government on the pretext that it cannot protect the Iraqis.” He says: “We are not intimidated by any threat from anyone or from any source. Our chests are open for their bullets, and our necks are ready for their swords. However, we will not be intimidated, and we will not kneel down or surrender, and let them do whatever they want.” He also calls on the Iraqis to stage a “unified demonstration” in Al-Najaf al-Ashraf on 9 April “in response to the call of freedom and peace.”
Baghdad Satellite Channel: Baghdad Baghdad Satellite Television in Arabic – television channel believed to be sponsored by the Iraqi Islamic Party, at 0900 GMT is observed to carry a live relay of a Friday sermon from an unidentified mosque in Baghdad. The sermon is delivered by an unidentified preacher. He begins be praising God and His Prophet and urging worshippers to fear God. Speaking about the Arab summit in Riyadh, the preacher says: “I will not divulge a secret if I say that this summit was very disappointing, particularly regarding the tragedy of Iraq. If I had the opportunity to make the Arab kings and presidents, who met in Riyadh yesterday and the day before yesterday, hear my voice, I would have told them that you met while your brothers in Iraq, Palestine, and elsewhere were seriously suffering from injustice and occupation.” Speaking about the “new world order, which is represented by world Judaism, its state, Israel, and the only pole that monopolizes the leadership of the world, the United States, may God disgrace it,” the preacher says: “This quarrelsomeness and injustice have exceeded their limits in a way over which one cannot remain silent.”
He says that what is strange is that the more the United States inflicts injustice on Iraq the more and more the Arabs throw themselves in its arms. If the Arab rulers had some independence, they would dissociate themselves from the United States and stop revolving in its orbit inasmuch as it dissociates itself from our interests and supports our enemy.”
Continuing to address the Arab rulers, the preacher says: “O Arab rulers, what do you have to say about these biased and unjust statements, which participate in killing us and in shedding our blood and which bless the shedding of Muslim blood? What do you have to say about the massacres that are being perpetrated against Iraq and our Palestinian brothers and what can you do to support your brothers? What do you have to say about these US statements that collude with Israel to the point of crime and plotting?” The preacher criticizes the Arab leaders who supported the United States, the United Kingdom, and others in “attacking and occupying Iraq, tightening the siege on its people, and stripping it off its weapons, which are nothing compared to Israel’s weapons of mass destruction.” He adds that an Arab politician once said that “the day will come when the Arabs will regret what has befallen Iraq and the loss of its weapons.” The preacher then elaborates on the attempts to partition Iraq. He says that this “plot is also aimed at partitioning the neighboring states.” He adds that the “conspiracy is aimed at changing Iraq’s Arab identity.” He concludes his first sermon by criticizing the militias that kill innocent people and attack mosques. The preacher devotes his second sermon to the anniversary of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad. . .
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, carries a report on today’s Friday sermons, in which some preachers criticized the results of the Arab summit in Riyadh. Muhammad al-Haydari, imam and preacher of the Al-Khillani Mosque, says: “Some of them called for abrogating the constitution and the political process. Some of them denounced the militias only, but they did not denounce terrorism. The speech of the Kuwaiti amir, however, was balanced.”
Shaykh Abd-al-Mahdi al-Karbala’i, representative of the religious authority in Karbala, says: “All the good blocs and forces, which seek to achieve security and stability for this people, should unite and cooperate to confront terrorism. All sides should realize that the danger of this terrorism is not confined to a certain group, class, or sect, but it targets all sides without exception.”
At 1800 GMT, the channel carries an episode of its weekly “Friday Sermons” program. The program shows Muhammad al-Haydari, imam and preacher of the Al-Khillani Mosque, saying: “The government and the security agencies took upon themselves to defend the Iraqi people.” He adds: “We should be patient and endure. It is true that our pains are great, but it is also true that our duty is to be patient because we want to check the plans of the enemy, which is trying to drag Iraq to sectarian sedition, bloody conflict, and civil war.”
He adds: “It is clear that over the past three or four days, there was an escalation in operations. We feel that there is a great state of alert by the terrorists to carry out bombing operations anywhere they can amid the people. The objective behind the escalation at this time is to send a message to the Arab message in which they say that we are still here and we are strong. They call themselves resistance. They want to say that we are still fighting and we have our influence. This is the message they want to send to the Arab summit.” He says that the Arab summit should know that these people are “cowards and that they kill women and children”
Turning to the Arab summit’s final statement, Al-Haydari says: “In general, we consider it in our favor, although it includes some paragraphs that are not in our favor, but it includes denunciation of terrorism and support for the political process. It also calls on the Iraqi Government to carry out reforms.” He says: “Some sides call for rejecting sectarianism. This is a true and a sincere call. However, they should stop the sectarian campaigns against the followers of Al Al-Bayt (Shiites) in their own countries.”
Shaykh Abd-al-Mahdi al-Karbala’i reminds members of the Council of Representatives of their “legal and religious” responsibilities toward defending the Iraqi people. He says that among the first of your tasks is “to achieve the interests of this people and to seek to consolidate them by enacting the laws that achieve this and by strongly confronting the attempts to strip these wronged people off these achievements and gains. Regrettably, however, we find some of these brothers think only of how to win more personal privileges and serve their own interests or those of the group with which they are affiliated.” He adds that these members should know that the people “can remove them from their posts and chairs.” Turning to the Arab summit, the preacher says: “Although we express our appreciation for some resolutions on the Iraq issue, we, at the same time, express our strong regret over and astonishment at the fact that these resolutions have failed to touch on the acts of terrorism that target all the sons of the Iraqi people, Sunnis and Shiites, Muslims and Christians, Arabs, Kurds, and others. These resolutions have also failed to denounce and condemn these acts.” He adds: “We also express our strong regret over some other resolutions, which include interference in some of Iraq’s affairs.”
Shaykh Yusuf al-Hamadani, imam and preacher of the Martyr Taha Mosque in Basra, devotes his sermon to the anniversary of the birthday of the prophet. Turning to the Iraqi situation, Al-Hamadani says that over the past two weeks, there were “terrorist, criminal, and takfiri operations targeting innocent people.” He adds that those who kill innocent people by using all means will kill people “with a nuclear bomb if they manage to obtain it.” He describes the terrorists’ use of the chlorine gas in Al-Fallujah as a “qualitative move in the criminal terrorist operations.” . .