Sayyid Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, stressed the importance of the national alliance since it is the poised political house in the national arena, calling the national alliance forces to make it a mature institution that regulates their political performance and prevents them from turning into competing, conflicting and undermined political tribes, saying he is sorry for the conduct of some which makes the national alliance a failing and disabled institution, warning that the Marty of the Niche Movement will resort to alternative choices to strengthen the national alliance if no sufficient seriousness is detected to decide on its institutionalization and the regulation of its action. His Eminence does not accept that the decision making by the national alliance remains blocked and contingent on political state of minds which are not aware of the nature of the challenges Iraq is facing and which feed on undermining and aggravation, wondering about the requests of some in the presidential regime, calling for drawing lessons from dictatorship and the power of the one superman who dominates his people and exercises strict control over them, advising the promoters of such theory to look around them in their distressed region and watch the scope of destruction and retardation caused by the presidential regime in the states of the region and not to compare Iraq’s case with the presidential regimes in the stable states known for their sound institutional structures and the authentic democratic experience. He also maintained that the Martyr of the Niche Movement works discreetly, defended the country, launched initiatives, formed Ashura brigade, Al Aqida brigade, Turkmen brigade and Al Ahwar brigade since the first days of the start of the Popular Crowd, acted courageously and with discipline in most of the battle fronts and upheld the flag of Iraq and the slogan of the Popular Crowd to the extent that many imagined that the Martyr of the Niche has no presence in the jihad battlefields. According to him, the Movement has an important history and knows very well its legal obligation and national duty away from biddings and aggravation for it doesn’t play on the feelings of the people from a sectarian viewpoint to achieve a fake popularity. Moreover, his Eminence asserted that the Martyr of the Niche Movement is self-confident and is jealous of no one, rather the others are jealous of it, and that it recognizes its size, is aware of its project and has clear and practical preview of the future, recommending the Martyr of the Niche members not to be dragged into the side conflicts and the marginal issues and not to allow those who shout loud to sow tension in their relationships with their doctrinal fellows, urging the members of the Martyr of the Niche to be patient and to watch out from those who try to draw the attention to them by attacking them, to make a quiet introspection and to listen to the allies and partisans who are the vast majority.
This came during the sermon delivered on Eid al Fitr prayer in Baghdad led by his Eminence on Saturday, July 18, 2015.
By Proxy Nominations Are the Reason for Governmental Failure
His Eminence stressed the need of believing in one united Iraq and common country, saying “accordingly, we set right our relations and speech with our partners in the country in the national arena and from all components”, adding “we can however express our reserves and comments about some unacceptable transgressions especially those that target our doctrinal and national principles”. He explained that some politicians evade their inner problems within the party, the sect or the ethnicity by exporting such problems to the national arena, which constitutes a great risk to Iraq and its stability; they ought to face their problems with courage and clarity instead of hiding behind sectarian, nationalistic or regional mottos. His eminence said that he is aware of the size of challenges and difficult circumstances faced by government officials, of the heavy burden represented by the territories occupied by ISIS, of the almost empty treasury and the absence of the security and military institutionalization. Despite all that, he added, some important achievements were made and should be recognized by everyone, clarifying at the same time that the government’s performance is still under the required level and is generally lingering, which might be due to the tough circumstances that we’re currently going through but could also be the result of the lack of clear and firm decisions and the weak will to change and reform. His eminence called to rebuild the structures of the state with firmness, to eliminate bureaucratic and exclusionary practices, to counter administrative and financial corruption and to work on ending the phenomenon of by proxy nominations because they are the cause of governmental failure and political exclusion. He explained in fact that restraining from settling the issue of administrative and governmental reforms means that we don’t want to eradicate the defects nor are we willing to rectify our path with trust and steadiness. His eminence indicated that the Martyr of the Niche movement is monitoring with prudence how the government is handling the administrative issues, the adopted government platform and the seriousness of the will to manage collectively, adding that “We are using all our weight and all our means and relationships to instill the positives and proper practices and get away from wrong practices in state management and we are assessing our participation in the government based on these criteria”.
The Statements of Western Officials About Iraq Are not Based on Realities or Facts
His eminence called for taking a serious stance to address the problems of displaced families, improve their living conditions, speed up their return to their regions when freed from the tyranny of ISIS, provide them with the necessary services in their places of displacement and their liberated cities and put in place quick mechanisms for evaluating the security of citizens by counting on reliable patriotic persons who have proven their eagerness to fight ISIS and support the government and the political process. Sayyid Al Hakim called as well for establishing an international fund for the reconstruction of the liberated cities that were destroyed by terrorist ISIS, considering that the fatwa issued by the religious authority is the great blessing that has protected Iraq and Iraqis. He added that Iraq is fine as long as the authority is fine, explaining that the authority’s instructions represent the compass that orients us and guarantees the resistance and victory of Iraq. His eminence warned against the pessimist and irresponsible statements made by some western officials, and considered that such statements have mere political goals and are not based on realities or facts, therefore, these officials need to study well the history of Iraq in order to understand how Iraqis think and how Iraq evolved throughout history. Sayyid Al Hakim expressed his regret for seeing a US presidency candidate denying the existence of Iraq and Iraqis and calling to bomb the oil wells. He described those officials as lacking wisdom and unable to understand the facts and truths although they are the candidates for leading a big nation like the United States of America, addressing a direct message to them that “Iraq will remain as it has been for thousands of years and those will be gone with the forgotten history because they don’t know the truth of homelands and peoples”. His eminence indicated that the battle against takfiri terrorism and ISIS is a confrontation with the intellectual infrastructure of terrorism in the region and the world, knowing that this infrastructure exists in some countries of the region, which means that these countries have to realize that the world will no longer remain silent seeing terrorism and its deviant thought. He also pointed out that ISIS is not an alien creature but a product of an unjust and aberrant takfiri thought rooted in the bloody history of Islam pretenders, adding that there are many fatwas in several known countries that make lawful the killing of Shia Muslims and the adepts of other religions and that accuse people of infidelity without reserve. He insisted that terrorism is an incarnation of these aberrant fatwas and that there are countries benefitting from ISIS and its terrorist acts and exploiting bloody terrorism to settle issues they are unable to settle in normal political ways. His eminence gave as an example the donations and the fighters flowing from known states and the open borders with known states, considering that ISIS is a malicious project with many involved in it. He reminded as well that Iraq is defending the entire world for it is standing against the huge criminal project with its limited capacities, clarifying that the bombing of Shia Muslims in the mosques is a historical proof that they are on the right path and they have been presenting sacrifices in support of the human project, the project of justice and freedom, mentioning the massacre of Khan Bani Saad and the targeting of people in the markets.
Turning the Popular Crowd into a Tool in the Political Conflict is the Biggest Offense Against it
The head of the Islamic Supreme Council stated that the popular crowd, which is the product of the sacred fatwa issued by the supreme religious authority represented by Imam Al Sistani (may Allah preserve him), is a the safety valve against terrorism and takfirism and the strongest weapon in the war of existence; it is for Iraq and for all Iraqis, and there is no experience without mistakes or shortcomings. He explained that the popular crowd is growing and developing its military and administrative capacities and called to be patient and to protect it, provide the legal and political coverage for it and support it in assuming its noble national responsibility in terms of training, armament, funding and care for its combatants and their families. His eminence warned against turning the crowd into a tool in the political conflict and against imposing wills while ignoring others, considering that this would be the biggest offense against the popular crowd. He insisted in this regard on making the crowd the center of power for all Iraqis to attack terrorism and on making sure that the crowd is not entered in a political dispute as this could raise sensitivities and concern; it should not be considered one of the parties as it is formed from everyone and it is working for the service of everyone and for the protection of the country and the citizens. On another note, his eminence congratulated the Kuwaiti people on their Emir, describing him as a human and a father before being an Emir; he proved to be stronger than the challenge and the Kuwaitis proved to be wise, strong and insightful as they turned their misery into a victory thanks to their faithful leadership.
The Importance of Meaningful and Constructive Dialogue Between Iran and the States of the Region
His eminence stated that Iran has presented a civilized model in dialogue, adherence to principles, resilient positions and ability to dissipate concerns, take down adversities and remove suspicions, and it was able to convince the world of the pacific nature of its nuclear activity and avoid bad options by opting for dialogue and rational agreement and ensuring the interest of its people through long and hard marathon talks and amazing perseverance, to be as such one of the few countries in the world to be taken out of the United Nations chapter 7 without any war or fight. Sayyid Al Hakim extended his congratulations to the leadership, government and people of Iran for this historical achievement and called for building good relations with it at the Arab, regional and international levels. His eminence also called upon the Iranian leadership to understand the regional concerns and reassure regional states by holding a meaningful and constructive dialogue centered on the common points between all the states of the region. Addressing all those having fears in the region, his eminence said that Iran is an ally for Iraq and has been its neighbor for thousands of years, it is now time for the confusion and accusations against Iraq regarding this relationship that is clearly serving the Iraqi national interest to end. He stated “We are Arabs and are proud of our Arabism. Our prophet (PBUH) was Arab, our Quran is Arab. We are Muslims and are proud of our Islam. We are the followers of Ahl Al Bayt and are proud and honored to follow our Imams and sacrifice for them. We are Iraqis and are proud of it. We will forever remember those who stood with us throughout this ordeal and these decisive challenges, and Iran stood and is still standing with us. We do not bite the hand that feeds us”. His eminence called on the loyal Arabs to look at Iran with their minds and with a futuristic vision not through the emotion-filled history, because there are more common points than breakoffs, and our affiliation to Islam and not to one single region deserves from us to hold a dialogue and discuss all issues. If the West negotiates, holds dialogues, makes tough decisions, trusts and moves forward, then why are Muslims so far from dialogue, negotiation and problem solving knowing they are so close to each other no matter how many differences there are and how many interests intersect.
A Call for the Triumph of the Language of Logic, Wisdom, Forgiveness and Coexistence Among the People Given the Historical and Delicate Phase
Sayyid Ammar Al Hakim described the problems of Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain as very serious and talked about the common regional relations, the economic interests and the development of states in the region. His eminence stressed the need for dialogue, agreement and common solutions, explaining that Syria is slowly dying and we are to defend it as a state and as a country; we are with the human’s natural right to choice and freedom and we are, like we’ve always been, sympathetic with the Syrian people… and remain reserved regarding wrong practices. He added however that the battle is today beyond the people and the regime and has become a battle of the state against the no-state, a battle of a country against those who are destroying it, a battle of humanity against terrorism and organized crime. His eminence mentioned the events in Yemen after 100 days of shelling and wondered if the shelling would go on forever and for whose interest the enmities between the Arab and Muslim people are. He finally reminded that Saudi Arabia will remain Yemen’s neighbor, like it has been throughout its long history, then who is to heal all the wounds? He asked, calling for the triumph of the language of logic, wisdom, forgiveness and coexistence between the peoples given the historical and delicate phase.