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The Supreme Religious Authority: Narrowed personal and individual interests is the characteristic of those who bear responsibility and have power in Iraq.
The supreme religious authority indicated that the narrowed personal and individual interests at the expense of public interests is the characteristic of those who have assumed positions of responsibility and have power and capabilities in Iraq, and this is regrettable.
These were the important points stated in the second sermon of the Friday prayer for this day (19th Jumada II 1441 AH) corresponding to (14 February 2020), which was held in the Imam al-Hussayn's (p) Holy Shrine and was led by His Eminence Sheikh Abd al-Mahdi al-Karbala'i in which he stated:
Dear brothers and sisters, our topic in the second sermon is: the system of values and ethics and its societal necessity, here we must clarify the importance of presenting these aspects in the Friday sermons.
Values and morals are a necessity of life in all areas of life for the individual and society, and for all human societies, regardless of whether they belong to a heavenly religion or not. So what is the importance and vital necessity of the system of values and morals in society?
Dear brothers and sisters, human values and morals are considered an essential pillar for the integrity of social relations and for the strength of this society, from which cooperation, interdependence and social solidarity emerge, which makes the individual and society achieve their basic needs. Human values are also an essential pillar for the safety of economic transactions from injustice and exploitation, and they are a fundamental pillar of the psychological stability of the individual and society, and thus an essential pillar for the progress and the prosperity of society in general, and the neglect or deterioration of these moral values in any society will make it lose its strength, pride, dignity, development and progress.
Therefore, we note and see that some of the nations and peoples who have reached a remarkable and visible level of development and prosperity, even though some of them do not have a heavenly religion, what is the reason for that? What is the secret? Because if we check in these societies, we will find that these societies take care of the system of values and morals as a culture that they spread among members of society and the state institutions, and take care of this culture and turn it into daily practices.
We observe a set of basic human values, morals and principles that are clear and visible in those societies, including spreading social justice, respecting the rights of others, respecting the system, and some important principles such as honesty, trustworthiness, and keeping covenants, making perfection and mastery in their work as a sacred principle in their lives. What is the secret that we observe many of these societies and peoples that have evolved and prospered? The secret of that is what we mentioned about its interest and care in the system of basic values and ethics that are essential for each society.
Now we come to our Iraqi society, we do not deny nor suspect that there are many human values and ethics prevalent in our society, such as generosity, sacrifice, patience, persistence, feverishness and zeal for religion and the homeland, but at the same time it is unfortunate that there are some moral deficiencies and incorrect practices that have spread in society, and all of us need, without exception, to strive to reduce and address them. And just as there are prevalent good values and ethics, we note that there are some moral deficiencies in some incorrect practices that we should address. So I will mention some of these moral deficiencies in order to raise awareness about them and address them whenever possible.
It means that a person cares and works to achieve his narrow personal and individual interests and does not take care of the interests of others. Rather, the most obvious of all is that a person presents his individual and personal interests at the expense of public interests. This is regrettable, because we find it represented by many who have assumed positions of responsibility with their own authority and capabilities, which we had hoped would be employed for public interests rather than for personal and individual interests, and even we, - as citizens - observe this incorrect characteristic, and often many of us prefer hiss narrow interests that lead to a breach of public interests here. The problem is, a person may search for his individual interests. There is no problem with that if it does not prejudice, affect and harm public interests, but when this leads to harm and breach of public interest, there is a problem here. And we said that it is regrettable that this may represent many of those who have borne the positions of authority and responsibility and power that should have been employed for the public interest.
The second: Lies, hypocrisy and accusing others without evidence, by violating their dignity and defaming them causing their social and political failure, and so on from the reprehensible qualities that have spread in the recent period.
The third: the national, sectarian, religious, and tribal extreme devotion that led some to take positions far from the truth and fairness, and this in fact sow hatred between the people of the same country, and not allowing them to work with cooperation and solidarity.
The fourth: Assaults and transgressions on others, even if they are in respected locations at the service of the homeland and citizens, such as some abuses and attacks that occur on some professors in universities, teachers or some traffic police, or others who serve a public service, are among the reprehensible traits that we see on some social media.
The Fifth: The use of violence, which is one of the incorrect attributes, especially inthe use of violence to solve problems and disputes. My brothers, many family and non-family problems and disputes can be resolved through dialogue and understanding, and if this dialogue and understanding is prolonged, legal means may be used to protect society from disturbing public order.
The Sixth: One of the phenomena that have spread is the phenomenon of bribery, embezzlement and transgression of public money, cases of forgery, fraud, money laundering and the unlawful exploitation of others financially and economically, as we see in many economic transactions prevalent in society.
The Seventh: The emergence of social problems that led to family disintegration and moral decay, the widespread phenomenon of drug use and trafficking it, the large number of suicides and the tendency of some to look in a weird way that is far from the spirit of the Iraqi identity. We must reflect on this matter, as we need to preserve the essence and element of the Iraqi identity.
Thus ethics, values, and principles ought to be followed in school and state institutions — teachers should focus on the subject Ethics, noting that teaching students only academic subjects is inadequate; students also need to be taught ethics, their importance, and the way they should be applied.
We also highlight the role of media organizations and outlets that should not focus only on politics and neglect ethics, principles and instilling them in people.
Furthermore, when the government's role is absent from applying ethics, values, and principles, people’s role must not; people must not be indifferent to wrong practices — and as it is the government’s responsibility, it's also everyone’s.
We also pointed out other crucial matters, such as professionalism, which is a fundamental, everyone must practice in various careers — and the same applies to justice and promotion of social justice, as well as mercy that people need to show in their dealings with one another.
We Ask the Almighty Allah to give us the success. Indeed He is Hearing and Responsive. And, the latest of our prayers is; praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and Prayers and Allah's Peace be upon Mohammad and his pure and virtuous lineage.