Iraq Preachers Lambaste Senate

The USG Open Source Center translates or paraphrases sermons given in Iraq on Friday, both Sunni and Shiite.

‘Round-up of Iraqi Friday Sermons 28 Sep
Iraq — OSC Summary
Saturday, September 29, 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 28 September 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 – is observed to carry the following report on today’s Friday sermons:

“In a Friday sermon, Shaykh Jalal-al-Din al-Saghir [Shiite], imam and preacher of the Buratha Mosque, warned those who conspire against the Iraqi Government and the political process in the country against what they do. At the same time, he urged the Iraqis to unite in order to safeguard the political plan and to defend it in any way.”

Shaykh Al-Saghir says: “Plotting against the political process, although it targets the Unified Iraqi Coalition (UIC), goes far beyond the UIC. Although it now targets Dr Al-Maliki’s government and those with this government, the plotting goes far beyond this.”

He adds” “Our defense of the political process should also include the essence of this process. The essence of the political process is that it has liberated the people’s will and kept this will in the hands of the sons of the people themselves.”

The report adds: “Shaykh Dr Samir al-Sumayda’i [Sunni], imam and preacher of the Umm al-Qura Mosque, said that the Iraqis will not be affected by any decision that seeks to drag the country to a civil war. In his Friday sermon, Al-Sumayda’i called on the Iraqis to foil the plans of those who seek to partition the country through their unity and brotherhood.”

Commenting on the “recent US Congress’s decision,” Al-Sumayda’i says: “The zealous sons of the country have no choice but to stand as one man and to unite in order to say no to the partitioning of the country and that we are one people, one country, one soul, and one hand.”

He adds: “Every Iraqi, in the north, south, central, west, and east of the country is zealous. You should know that if we stand as one man we will find some people who support us in the south, in the center, and in the north. Thus, the occupier will never be able to divide us.”

Baghdad Satellite Channel: Baghdad Baghdad Satellite Television in Arabic – television channel believed to be sponsored by the Iraqi Islamic Party – is observed to carry at 0915 GMT a Friday sermon from an unidentified mosque in Baghdad. Shaykh Dr Harith al-Ubaydi delivers the sermon.

In his Friday sermon, Al-Ubaydi discusses the responsibilities of “man” in this world since God has chosen him to “uphold the trust.” He discusses the “status” of man in the “dialogue” between God and the angels in the Koran based on the following Koranic verse: “Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” They said: “Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? – whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?” He said: “I know what ye know not.” (Koranic verse, Al-Baqara, 2:30)

In order to explain how God “honored mankind,” the preacher also quotes the following verse from the Koran: “We have honored the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of our creation.” (Koranic verse, Al-Isra, 17:70)

He says that the main duty of mankind is to “implement God’s laws on earth.” He says that “God wants us to establish right and justice and to implement His Shari’ah.”

The preacher says: “Human rights are guaranteed and protected in Islam, but the defect is in those who rule Muslims. These are rulers who are mainly preoccupied with their sensual delights and lusts.”

He adds: “Their radio stations and space channels have nothing to do other than glorifying the ruler. They slaughter peoples, arrest the sons of these peoples, and torture them. They ask the peoples to celebrate their praises and glorify their status. So, the defect is in those who rule Muslims, and not in our Islam. True Muslims did not assume power, but they were deprived of it. Had they assumed power, the world would have seen the greatness of Islam and how it establishes justice and right.”

Speaking about the conditions of Iraqi prisoners, the preacher says that some of them said that “they have raped us.” He says: “Does Islam say rape them because they have committed a crime? Does humanity say torture them because they have committed a crime?”

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 Friday sermons for the day. Al-Furat:

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

“Shaykh Abd-al-Mahdi al-Karbala’i, imam and preacher of the Karbala Friday sermon, said that the religious authority will continue to act as a protective tent for all Iraqis. In his Friday sermon at the Al-Husayn Shrine, Shaykh Al-Karbala’i praised the recent visit by the delegation of the Al-Tawafuq (Accord) Front to Higher Religious Authority Imam Al-Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani. He said that the religious authority will continue to serve as the safety valve for Iraq and the unity of its sons.”

Al-Karbala’i is then shown delivering his sermon. (Al-Karbala’i’s Friday sermon is covered separately as GMP20070928676002)

The report adds: “Friday preachers termed the visit by the delegation of the Al-Tawafuq Front to Higher Religious Authority Imam Al-Sistani as a step in the right direction of bolstering national unity. Other preachers criticized the nonbinding decision the US Senate has made on a plan to partition Iraq on sectarian basis.”

Commenting on the recent US Senate’s decision, Shaykh Muhammad al-Haydari, imam and preacher of the Al-Khillani Mosque, says: “This is a dangerous sign on partitioning Iraq. The Iraqis should understand this sign and approach. They should reject this decision and adhere to the unity of Iraq as well as the unity of the Iraqi people — Sunnis, Shiites, Arabs, Kurds, Turkomen, and other minorities.”

The channel carries an episode of its weekly “Friday Sermons” program at 2015 GMT, as follows:

The program begins with the Friday sermon delivered by Shaykh Jalal-al-Din al-Saghir, which is covered in Al-Iraqiyah’s report within its 1700 GMT newscast.

Shaykh Muhammad al-Haydari, imam and preacher of the Al-Khillani Mosque, says: “You and the world have heard that the US Senate has made a nonbinding decision to partition Iraq into three regions; a Kurdish region, a Sunni region, and a Shiite region, along with having a weak central government.”

He adds: “Of course, this decision is strange. Is it reasonable for a government or legislators in a state to legislate for another state?”

He adds: “This is a dangerous sign on partitioning Iraq. The Iraqis should understand this sign and approach. They should reject this decision and adhere to the unity of Iraq as well as the unity of the Iraqi people — Sunnis, Shiites, Arabs, Kurds, Turkomen, and other minorities. All world states should understand that they do not have the right to interfere in the affairs of other states, including Iraq, although it is weak and occupied.”

The station then carries Al-Karbala’i’s Friday sermon, which is covered as GMP20070928676002.

Commenting on the Karbala incidents, Shaykh Sadr-al-Din al-Qabbanji, imam and preacher of Al-Najaf Friday sermon, says that these incidents “were preplanned on the financial, organizational, and political levels.” He adds that “there was a political plan.” He urges the Interior Ministry to announce the results of investigations into the Karbala incidents to the public.

Shaykh Hasan al-Zamili, imam and preacher of the Al-Diwaniyah Friday sermon, says: “You have heard in the news media that a group was arrested in Al-Najaf and another in Basra. These groups took part in assassinating some of the representatives of the religious authority.”

He adds: “We call on the Council of Representatives to adopt a stand on this issue and to question the committee that has been formed. This also calls on the scholars to adopt an honorable and appropriate stand toward the Karbala incidents. The political parties also should know that the 15 Sha’ban incidents have pained the hearts and made them bleed. Silence on this issue is treason and silence on the blood that was shed is also treason. Consequently, this encourages the criminals. From this pulpit and other pulpits, we have repeatedly cautioned the government against procrastinating on this issue.” . . ‘

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