In Friday’s Sermon held at the Imam al-Hussayn’s (p) Holy Shrine on 16th Rabi' Thani 1441 AH corresponding to December 13, 2019, Sayed Ahmad al-Safi, representative and spokesperson for the Supreme Religious Authority read out a statement issued by the office of His eminence al-Sistani in Najaf. Stating:
Dear brothers and sisters, I will read for you the statement we have received from the office of his Eminence Sayed al-Sistani in Najaf:
In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
A few days ago was the second anniversary of the declaration of the victory over ISIS — the historic battle in which the Iraqi people fought to liberate parts of their country that ISIS had taken over.
During more than three years, tens of thousands of the Iraqi people were martyred and many more were injured — they have immortalized themselves as brilliantly illuminated pages in the history of Iraq, giving the most beautiful images of heroism and redemption in the defense of the homeland, the dignity and the sanctities.
On this occasion, we reverently remember those who laid down their lives for their country and attained the highest levels of glory, and we extend our respect and appreciation to their families and to those who were injured and those who are still guarding bravely their country against the remnants of the terrorist ISIS, following the hidden cells in various areas without being boredom. All thanks to them.
We must reaffirm today the necessity of building the army and other Iraqi armed forces according to solid professional foundations, so that they have loyalty to the homeland and so they rise to its defense against any external aggression, and protect its political system emanating from the will of the people in accordance with constitutional and legal frameworks. We also reaffirm the need to work to improve the living conditions in the liberated areas, to rebuild them and enable their displaced people to return to them with dignity.
Dear Iraqis, ahead of you is a crucial battle, which is the reform battle, which requires work to end a long-drawn-out epoch of corruption and failure in managing the country.
As two years ago, the Supreme Religious Authority said — in the victory sermon — talking about combating corruption, “Although this battle (against corruption) has taken long, it is no less ferocity than the battle against terrorism, if not even more so. And the noble Iraqis, who valiantly defeated the terrorists, are — with the assistance of God — able to engage in this war and gain victory, if they manage it well. Adopting peaceful means is, for certain, a prerequisite to gain victory. Optimistically, most of those currently protesting realize the importance of leading a peaceful protest, devoid of acts of violence, chaos, or causing harm to citizens’ interests. In spite of all the precious blood that was shed injusticely, and the most recent of which was what happened at the beginning of this week from a sinful attack on the beloved demonstrators in the Al-Senak area in Baghdad, where dozens of them were victims; whether from the martyrs or the wounded.
This sad event and what was repeated in the recent days from the killings and kidnappings that took place within the past few days re-affirm what the Supreme Religious Authority repeatedly called for that all weapons must be possessed by the government, and no group — under any heading, outside the scope of the government — is allowed to be armed.
The country’s stability and maintaining civil peace are contingent on disarming the armed groups, which we hope to happen as a result of the current reform movement.
We strongly condemns the killings, kidnappings, and all kinds of attacks, including the heinous and terrifying crime that took place in Wethbeh, Baghdad, last Thursday. We call on the relevant authorities to be responsible and catch the criminals and prosecute them, and we warn against the repercussions of such crimes which affect the security and stability of the country, and the direct effect on the peacefulness of protests that everyone must take care of.
We also stress on the necessity that the judiciary has to be the only authority that deals with all the crimes and violations, and no punishment is administered to the guilty but by law.
As for the dragging, torture and hanging people, are crimes whose perpetrators must be held accountable, and it is sad that a large number of people were observed to follow these horrific scenes yesterday. And there is no power or strength except with Allah the Most High and the Greatest.