Text of statement with respect to the current situation in Iraq in Friday sermon of the representative of the Grand Marja’, Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai’نص ما ورد بشأن الأوضاع الراهنة في العراق في خطبة الجمعة لممثل المرجعية الدينية العليا الشيخ عبد المهدي الكربلائي في (12/ رمضان /1435 هـ) –

Dated: 09 July 2014

Original source: http://www.sistani.org/arabic/archive/24925/ (Arabic)

Translation starts here:

‘Text of statement with respect to the current situation in Iraq in Friday sermon of the representative of the Grand Marja’, Sheikh Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai’

In the name of God the Compassionate and the Merciful.

With respect to current events there are a number of issues we face.

The first issue: In the difficult and critical circumstances in which all Iraqis are living, their facing of the foreign terrorists, the most important need is for unity and the rejection of division and differences, therefore we persist in our request from politicians who appear in the media to desist from taking extremist positions and polemics which add nothing to the situation except increasing its complexity and confusion. However, with intense regret, we find that some are still practising this and this issue has reached the point of some citizens being negatively influenced by the sectarian or racist discourse, or we find the same problem in social media. With all certainty, this is not worthy of Iraqis. We are all the sons of one people, and we are capable of living together. We must work to tighten the bombs of love and affinity between us and put aside all that leads to increasing the convulsion and differences between the components of this ancient people.

The second issue: The huge challenges and dangers, current and in the future, which beset Iraq and threaten the communal peace and the unity of the social fabric of the Iraqi people. They warn of a fractured and future of feuding for Iraq, and require a pause, courage and sincere national bravery from the political blocs and political leaders to overcome the pursuit of narrow personal interest, or factional and sectarian interests and exploit these conditions for political or regional ends, or insist on some demands which complicate the political situation and prevent finding a solution to the current crisis. These blocs and leaders (including ourselves) must rise to positions which go beyond any title expressing the sacrifice, the altruism, and zeal in pursuit of the interests of the country and its people, threatened with rupture and feuding. This requires that the respected Council of Representatives does not exceed the constitution by going further than what occurred, the rush to elect the three heads [top political offices] and form a new government which enjoys the wide national acceptance and puts forward radical solutions to the problems f the country and its mounting crises.

The third issue: We have made clear more than once that the call to volunteer in the ranks of the Iraqi military and security forces were only for the protection of Iraqis of various sects and ethnic groups, and the protection of the honour of the holy sites from the foreign terrorists. Therefore, we confirm to all the fighters in the armed forces, and those volunteers who have joined them to whom to pay tribute to their courage and bravery in defence of their country and its people and holy sites… we confirm to all of them the necessity of committing completely and strictly to respect for the rights of the all the citizens and not infringing on any innocent citizens, irrespective of their belonging to any particular doctrine or ethnicity or any political position. We remind everyone of what was said by the Prophet al-Mustafa (may God bless him and his family) in the Farewell Hajj when he preached to the people saying ((“Verily! Your blood, property and honor are sacred to one another (i.e. Muslims) like the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this city of yours.)) and he said (peace be upon him and his family), ((he who helped in the killing of a Muslim, by even a word, he will meet God on the Day of Judgement with it written between his eyes: he will not receive the mercy of God))  so be warned from causing the shedding of a drop of the blood of the innocent or infringing on his money or his possessions.

We also confirm once more the necessity of organising the process of volunteering and the enrolment of volunteers in the official Iraqi military and security forces and the inadmissibility of the presence of armed groups outside the legal framework, under any description or title. This is the responsibility of the government that ought not to show any meekness in doing so.

The fourth issue: It is required that the officials from different levels and categories be present on the ground with the displaced communities and camps of fighters to experience the reality and get a first hand view of their needs, and strive to fulfil these needs and expedite the payments of funds and especially the  provision of medicine and medical staff for the displaced and support for the armed forces through food provisions and other military necessities, and encourage moral and boost the moral, patience and persistence in the fight against the foreign terrorists.

The fifth issue: The Palestinian people in Gaza are facing continuing Israeli aggression for a number of days. While we confirm our condemnation of this aggression and our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in occupied Palestine, we also call on the international community to put an end to the Israeli aggressions and to stand beside the Palestinians in their plight.

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