The USG Open Source Center translates or paraphrases Iraqi Friday Prayer sermons from last week.
“Round-up of Iraqi Friday Sermons 21 Sep
Iraq — OSC Summary
Sunday, September 23, 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 21 September to carry the following reports on Friday sermons:
Al-Iraqiyah: Baghdad Al-Iraqiyah Television in Arabic – government-sponsored television station, run by the Iraqi Media Network – is not observed to carry any reports on today’s Friday sermons due to a technical failure.
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 0919 GMT a Friday sermon from an unidentified mosque in Baghdad. Shaykh Dr Harith al-Ubaydi delivers the sermon.
In this Friday sermon, Al-Ubaydi discusses the “great importance Islam attaches to the social field in life,” as well as the special care, taking into consideration that the “foundation of the structure of societies is based on the organization of relations among the members of that society.”
The preacher says that God created people with different languages and different colors. He says that this is one of the signs of God which urges people to cooperate with each other. The preacher then quotes the following verse from the Koran: “If thy Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind one people: but they will not cease to dispute. Except those on whom thy Lord hath bestowed His Mercy: and for this did He create them.” (Koranic verse, Hud, 11:118)
The preacher urges “positive and peaceful relations” among peoples in order to exchange benefits. He then quotes the following verse from the Koran: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other).” (Koranic verse, Al-Hujurat, 49:13) The preacher also urges solidarity and sympathy among Muslims.
On Muslims’ relations with other non-Muslims, he says that God urges us to treat them kindly and with the best means based on the following Koranic verse: “And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation).” (Koranic verse, Al-Ankabut, 29:46)
The preacher concludes by urging the government to achieve security to the citizens, adding that the “Armed Forces and the Internal Security Forces should play their national role in achieving security and peace for every Iraqi individual and family.” He calls on the government to make efforts to “return the Iraqis who left Iraq to neighboring and other states and to compensate them so as to allow them to live in their country.”
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:
“Ammar al-Hakim has called on the blocs that withdrew from the government to return to it and to effectively participate in the political process. In a Friday sermon at the Buratha Mosque in Baghdad, Ammar al-Hakim said that the political process has witnessed a great impetus over the past period in favor of the government after achieving security successes in Baghdad and the governorates. He added that the withdrawals were among the negative phenomena of the political process, noting that this will not be confined to certain blocs. He said that this method weakens the political process.”
The report adds: “His Eminence stressed that the Al-Tawafuq Front is an important and main partner in the political process. He called on it to return to the government to contribute to safeguarding the interests of all Iraqis. Ammar al-Hakim has also called on the Al-Sadr and Al-Fadilah blocs to return to the Unified Iraqi Coalition (UIC).”
Al-Hakim says: “From this holy place, and from the Friday pulpit, I call on the dear brother, Muqtada al-Sadr to make a brave decision, along with our honorable brothers in the Al-Sadr bloc, to return to the UIC and to seriously and persistently work to make the political process succeed, support the Iraqi Government, and avoid and solve any problems. Through serious and constructive dialogue we can solve problems and continue work to serve the citizens’ interests.”
The report adds: “Ammar al-Hakim rejected indiscriminate arrests of the Iraqis. He stressed the need that the security forces and the multinational forces should be accurate and do not target anyone other than offenders. Reacting to some statements to the effect that the agreement among the four effective forces was the reason behind the withdrawal of the Al-Sadr bloc, Ammar al-Hakim said that the UIC did not make it difficult to any side to conclude agreements in favor of the political process.”
Commenting on the Petraeus-Crocker report, Al-Hakim says: “It spoke about great positive achievements in the political process and the successes on the security, political, and economic levels. It also spoke about the strong will the international community sees in the Iraqi leaders to advance forward and to make their achievements, including national reconciliation. However, despite its positive points, this report ignored many important and key files concerning the objective assessment of the developments of the situation in Iraq. Among the most important of these files is the role of the religious authority in this cohesion and national accord and in standing in the face of the civil war plan, which some others used to advocate, such as the takfiris (holding other Muslims to be infidel), Al-Qa’ida, and their likes. They issued statements and made speeches on this issue. The religious authority served as a safety valve. It supported and backed the entire political plan and called for self-restraint, something which calmed down many people and prevented a civil war.”
The report says: “Ammar al-Hakim said that the Petraeus-Crocker has foiled many of the internal and regional wagering on disrupting the political process or harming the achievements of the Iraqi people.”
The report adds: “Friday preachers in the country denounced attacks on the representatives of the religious authority, particularly in the Basra Governorate. They also called for expediting the results of investigation into the Karbala incidents and for revealing the criminals. Other preachers urged the government to work seriously to render services to the citizens after the improvement of the security situation.” . . .
The channel carries an episode of its weekly “Friday Sermons” program at 1810 GMT, as follows:
The program begins with Ammar al-Hakim’s Friday sermon, covered in the Al-Furat’s above 1700 GMT report. Here, he says: “What contributed to the growing impetus of the political process is the sharp drop in the number of terrorist operations, which used to target citizens everywhere and led to the fall of entire areas which became outside the government’s control. These areas were controlled by the terrorist, takfiri, and criminal gangs.”
Shaykh Muhammad al-Haydari, imam and preacher of the Al-Khillani Mosque, says that “it is clear that the security situation is improving.” He adds that the government and local councils should “benefit from this improvement to improve their performance.” . . .
Shaykh Sadr-al-Din al-Qabbanji calls on the Al-Sadr bloc to return to the government and to “reexamine their position to see whether it is in the interest of the Iraqi house, or the Shiite house in particular.” He adds: “We do not accept the fragmentation of the Shiite house. We also do not accept this to the Iraqi house. You are part of the Shiite house. You are a key element and component in the Shiite house. The withdrawal means a rift. We hope that they will reconsider their position and maintain their real, effective, and positive participation. We do not support the option of violence or the option of withdrawal. We say this to all sides. We said this to Al-Tawafuq (Accord) Front and to others.”
Shaykh Hasan al-Zamili, imam and preacher of Al-Diwaniyah Mosque, says that the “government is called upon to provide security to the nation’s scholars, preachers, and honest ones.” He adds that the “government should implement the law against the criminals.”
Al-Baghdadiyah: Cairo Al-Baghdadiyah Satellite Television in Arabic – Private Iraqi television known for its opposition to the US presence in Iraq – is not observed to carry any reports on the Friday sermons for the day. . . “