Iraqi Sunni, Shiite Preachers Denounce al-Qaeda

The USG Open Source Center reports on Iraqi sermons on Friday.

Round-up of Iraqi Friday Sermons 26 Oct
Iraq — OSC Summary
Saturday, October 27, 2007

Al-Iraqiyah . . . “Shaykh Jalal-al-Din al-Saghir, [Shiite] imam and preacher of the Buratha Mosque, said that the recent statements by terrorist Usama Bin Ladin to the remnants of his followers in Iraq show the defeat of the terrorist organization in Iraq following the strong blows dealt to it by the Iraqi security forces, backed by the tribes.”

The report adds: “In a Friday sermon, the Buratha Mosque preacher called for renouncing violence and all armed manifestations and bolstering unity among Iraqis.”

Shaykh Al-Saghir says: “Bolstering unity between the Shiites and Sunnis is the only way to eliminate those criminals. This would not have happened had the Shiites and Sunnis not rejected all the terrorists’ attempts to drive a wedge between the two honorable sects.”

Shaykh Al-Saghir adds: “We consider Usama Bin Ladin’s recent statement as an official announcement on the defeat of the Al-Qa’ida in Iraq. Therefore, before this statement and message, we were not astonished to see Harith al-Dari trying to bring some life to the dead body of Al-Qa’ida when he spoke and advised the armed groups to accept Al-Qa’ida by saying they are from us and we are from them.”

Al-Saghir says: “The militias of any party are against the existence of the state.”

The report adds [that Sunni]: “Shaykh Ahmad Abd-al-Ghafur al-Samarra’i, head of the Sunni Waqf Bureau, has called for renouncing all armed manifestations and differences among the sons of the one country. In a Friday sermon at the Al-Siddiq Mosque in Al-Ghazaliyah, Shaykh Al-Samarra’i urged the Iraqis to close their ranks to foil enemy plans to foment sedition among them.”

Al-Samarra’i says: “I express my appreciation for all the good efforts and for all those who achieved security and stability, and brotherhood and amity among the sons of Iraq. Unity, amity, mercy, and love bring us closer to God. The Sunni must live safely in a Shiite area and a Shiite must live safely in the Sunni areas.”

Al-Samarra’i says: “They wanted to foment sedition between the Shiites and Sunnis and to play on the tune of sectarianism. However, praise be to God, all the sons of Iraq in general, and the sons of Al-Ghazaliyah in particular, and specifically the sons of this mosque, have exposed the game, realized the conspiracy, and got united with each other. They did not discriminate between a Shiite and Sunni, an Arab or Kurd, or a Muslim and a non-Muslim. People from all ethnic groups were united and stood as one man in the face of anyone who wanted to harm this country or this area.”

The report says: “Within the same framework, Shaykh Ala Abd-al-Wahhab, imam and preacher of the Yusuf al-Hassan Mosque in the Basra Governorate, urged the Iraqis to unite and renounce all forms of estrangement and sectarianism and to close the ranks among the sons of the one people. Shaykh Abd-al-Wahhab noted that the crisis the Iraqis are experiencing necessitates more patience.”

Al-Furat [Supreme Council, Shiite]: . . . “Friday preachers in Baghdad urged the Council of Representatives to discuss the effective forces’ request to prevent any political interference by the Independent Higher Election Committee.”

The report adds: “The crisis on the Iraqi-Turkish border and the government’s efforts to find solutions to it was present in the Friday sermons. The preachers stressed the need for not turning Iraq into arena to settle scores and a springboard for terrorist organizations to attack the neighboring states.”

Shaykh al-Saghir says: “I call on the Council of Representatives, specifically the chairmanship of the Council of Representatives, to examine the request that was submitted by heads of the three major blocs in the parliament and to hold an urgent meeting for the committee, the political blocs, and the United Nations, to put things in order in a way to guarantee the independence, neutrality, and transparency of the committee.”

On Bin Ladin’s recent audiotape, Al-Saghir says: “We consider Usama Bin Ladin’s recent statement as an official announcement on the defeat of the Al-Qa’ida in Iraq. Therefore, before this statement and message, we were not astonished to see Harith al-Dari trying to bring some life to the dead body of Al-Qa’ida when he spoke and advised the armed groups to accept Al-Qa’ida by saying they are from us and we are from them.”

Commenting on the crisis on the Iraqi-Turkish border, Na’il al-Musawi, imam and preacher of the Al-Khillani Mosque, says: “Now there is the issue of stopping its (PKK) activity. The problem is that the (Turks) want us to hand over some of the wanted PKK elements. Now, there is the issue of stopping its political and military activities and closing its offices. We are not an arena of struggle. Iraq is not an arena of struggle. Iraqi Kurdistan is a part of Iraq.”

The channel carries an episode of its weekly “Friday Sermons” program at 1809 GMT, as follows:

Shaykh Al-Saghir speaks about “mistakes in the Election Committee Law, which should be corrected.” He adds: “Very regrettably, I was given promises to correct these mistakes, but these promises are so far not reassuring and are not encouraging. I say that the parties’ tampering with the committee will destroy this committee and end any hope for its neutrality. Consequently, I say that October is about to end and we will then have a new budget, but we will not approve one penny for the committee if measures to reassure us that this committee enjoys neutrality and transparency are not taken.”

He adds: “Therefore, all the political parties, taking into consideration that the problem lies in the political parties, should be seriously aware of these issues. Any tampering with the issue of the independence of the committee will disrupt the entire situation.”

He says: “I call on the Council of Representatives, specifically the chairmanship of the Council of Representatives, to examine the request that was submitted by heads of the three major blocs in the parliament and to hold an urgent meeting for the committee, the political blocs, and the United Nations, to put things in order in a way to guarantee the independence, neutrality, and transparency of the committee. Without this, we will have another stand, which definitely will not be in the interest of the current committee. I know that there are sincere intentions, but I also know that there are political trends within this committee.”

Shaykh Na’il al-Musawi, imam and preacher of the Al-Khillani Mosque, says: “Praise be to God, the tension that used to exist among the political blocs in the past has eased a great deal. Some sides used to wager on toppling the government and to think that it was possible to do so and if this government falls they will assume power. Now, the situation is different. The situation is now better and anyone who monitors events will see that the security situation is better than before.”

He adds: “We hope that all Iraqis, all sects, all religions, and trends will work against terrorism, taking into consideration that terrorism does not discriminate between a Sunni or a Shiite, Christian or Muslim, or Sabian or Azidi. Terrorism targets all Iraqis.”

[Shiite] Shaykh Abd-al-Mahdi al-Karbala’i, imam and preacher of the Karbala Friday sermon, says: “I want to discuss the unstable security situation in some of the cities of the south and the center of our beloved country, Iraq. I say that some citizens in these cities have asked us to convey their complaints and suffering through the Friday pulpit to the brother officials, whether in the executive or legislative agencies. Some members of the Iraqi Council of Representatives have also asked us to convey their views to the brothers in the executive agencies and heads of the political blocs.” . . .

Shaykh Bashir al-Najafi, imam and preacher of the Al-Najaf Friday sermon, says: “We call on all the brother officials to do their duties toward these people. They should exert all efforts to do so.”

Shaykh Jamal al-Dawsari, imam and preacher at an unidentified mosque in Basra, says: “We were tested in our country, Iraq. We are still being tested and the enemies of God are still wagering on fragmenting the unity of this country. The enemies of humanity are still wagering on destroying Iraq and on turning Iraq into a springboard for their terrorism, a base for their corruption, and a safe haven for evildoers and terrorists. However, Iraq’s people now have enough awareness to the point where no one can deceive or fool them. This is because we knew who wants to have mercy on Iraq and who seeks to destroy Iraq, especially since the picture has become clear for those who understand and those who do not understand. There is nothing secret, but every thing is clear and obvious.”

Shaykh Mahmud al-Khafaji, imam and preacher at an unidentified mosque in Babil, says: “The spread of cholera was caused by the terrorists. The cause of the spread of the disease is not scientific. From a scientific and medical viewpoint, everyone knows that this disease spreads in hot areas and not in cold areas, taking into consideration that the cold weather is not suitable for it. It spread in the Arbil Governorate and the areas of northern Iraq. This is a dirty act of terrorism. Terrorism is there, however, we cannot blame the terrorists, but we should take the employees to account. The administrative agencies should appoint the honest employee who has a national and a religious sense of responsibility toward the sons of his people to make sure that such a disease will not spread.” . . .

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