The representative of the supreme religious authority read during the sermon of the Friday prayer of the 5th Jumada II 1441 AH corresponding to January 31, 2020, held at the holy shrine of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) the text received from the office of the supreme religious authority in Najaf.
His Eminence Sheikh Abd al-Mahdi al-Karbala’i said: Dear brothers and sisters ... I read to you the text received from the office of his eminence Sayed al-Sistani in Najaf:
“In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
Four months have passed since the start of the popular movement calling for reform, and freeing the country from the clutches of corruption and failure that afflicted the various state institutions and departments, and during this period a lot of innocent blood was shed and thousands of citizens were wounded and injured, and there are still some clashes, here and there, that result in more Innocent victims.
The religious authority, as it once again confirms its condemnation of the use of violence against peaceful demonstrators, the assassinations and kidnappings of some of them, and its categorical refusal to attempt to break up peaceful assemblies and sit-ins using violence and force, it at the same time rejects what some people are doing to attack the security forces and government agencies, as well as the acts of sabotage and threats against some educational and service institutions, and all that violates the security of citizens and harms their interests. And it warns that these unjustified actions will not become a substitute for the mass public presence to pressure for the sake of a response to the reformist demands, on the contrary, it leads to a decline in solidarity with the protest movement and its participants.
On the other hand, the continuation of the current crisis, political, economic and security instability is not in the interest of the country or the future of its children, so there has to [be] preparation to get out of it by speeding up the formation of a new government, which must be a government that have the confidence of the people, and able to calm the situation, re-establish the prestige of the state, and undertake the necessary steps to hold free, transparent elections as soon as possible.
Returning to ballot boxes to determine what the people want is the appropriate choice in the current circumstances, taking into consideration that political forces from the different components are experiencing divisions, and divergence of views regarding the priority in the next stage, and their inability to agree on the necessary reforms that most citizens demand, which expose the country to more risks and problems, so it is imperative to hurry and hold an early election for the people to have their say, and for the next parliament to be formed from their free will, to take the necessary steps towards reform, and issuing fateful decisions, which determine the future of the country, in particular with regard to maintaining the sovereignty and independence of its political decision and land and people's unity.
In conclusion: It remains to point out that the religious authority condemns strongly the oppressive plan that has been unveiled recently to legitimize the occupation of more Palestinian lands, and it affirms its support for the oppressed Palestinian people in line with their rights to regain their occupied lands, and establish an independent state. And it calls on Arabs, Muslims and all freedom-loving people worldwide to back the (Palestinian) cause.