In His NameThe speech delivered by Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the tenth night of Muharam commemorating Ashura during the central council held in Sayyed Ashuhada (pbuh) Complex in Haret Hreik on November 3, 2014.
I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be on the Seal of prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household and on his chosen companions and on all messengers and prophets.
Peace be on you, my master and lord Abi Abdullah, and on all the souls gathering around your holy site. Peace be on you as long as I remain alive and as long as night follows day. May Allah make it not my last visit to you. Peace be on Hussein, Ali the son of Hussein, the children of Hussein, and the companions of Hussein.
Scholars, brothers, and sisters! Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings
First, we thank Allah, The Benefactor, The Bountiful, The Compassionate, and The Guarder Who protected you all and protected all the brothers and sisters all over the country during all these nights and days on which you were commemorating Ashoura and the martyrdom of the Master of Martyrs -Abi Abdullah Al Hussein (Peace be upon him) in an atmosphere of danger and intimidation.
Praise be to Allah! So far, these days and nights have passed in peace with His mercy and benediction. We ask Allah Al Mighty that tonight's and tomorrow's commemorations as well as the commemorations of this eternal and dear event on the days to come would also pass peacefully with His benediction and mercy.
First, we must also thank all those who took pain, spent sleepless nights, and exerted efforts during the past days and nights under rain and the sun to provide security to all of these sessions in all places. Special thanks to the Lebanese Army, to the official security forces, to all the brothers and sisters in Hizbollah and Amal Movements, and to all the sides that sponsored, supervised, protected, and assumed responsibility in commemorating this occasion.
As we said previously, today I will tackle the political situation, and this requires having your attention. I will start with the local situation. Then, I will tackle the conflict in the region, and I will keep some topics for tomorrow Inshallah. The issue of the recent Israeli threats and what Al Aqsa Mosque is being subject to besides other topics will be kept for tomorrow - the tenth day of Muharram - Inshallah.
Today we will talk for a while about the local political situation, and we will wrap our speech with a word on the conflict in the region, and at the end we will renew our oath to Imam Hussein (Peace be upon him) on the tenth night of Muharram.
We will tackle several points concerning the political situation:
The first point has to do with the parliament. I will talk about the parliament and the presidential elections, the events in the north of Lebanon and the army, and about dialogue with the Future Movement besides tackling the situation in the region in a general word.
There are subtitles under each title Inshallah.
As for the parliament, the tenure of the current parliament comes to an end soon. The time limit for holding elections is decreasing. What would be the result if elections do not take place and if no extension of the parliament's term takes place? Then an institution would be annulled or at least abolished of the sphere of action or attendance. There are three results or options: Either we move towards elections, towards extension, or towards vacuum. If we moved towards elections, we will face a conventional problem because an essential force in the Sunnite component does not want elections to take place for definite reasons. If we moved towards extension, we will have a conventional problem too because an essential force in the Christian component rejects or does not help in covering extension. What will we do then? We are not able to hold elections, and we will not extend. Shall we move towards vacuum?
As for us, from the first day, such discussions were evoked with Hizbullah. We haven't tackled this issue much in the media. However, here I am saying that we told our friends and allies and all those who contacted us that in case elections take place we are ready, and in case of moving towards extension as a result of the exceptional security situations in the country we will not impose extension.
What's normal is that elections take place. However, there is a problem in that. In all cases, if you want elections, we are at ease, and we are ready. If you want extension, we are also ready. However, we are never ready to let anyone intentionally or unintentionally drag the country into vacuum, knowing that unfortunately they are accusing us of taking the country to vacuum. That is at a time we are innocent of this accusation. At times, they say we seek vacuum because our interest is in that; at other times, they say we seek vacuum because we want to hold a constituent assembly.
However, we reject anything that would lead to vacuum. That is final to us, and consequently, we must act on all political, parliamentary, and governmental levels to prevent moving towards vacuum.
However, today there is a real dilemma. I believe we reached a very critical point on which the fate of the parliament is dependent. That seems to require much of the wisdom, experience, and smartness of Speaker Nabih Berri. All of us - the political blocs, the parliamentary blocs, and the heads of blocs - are concerned in offering him any help possible to deliver the nation from this critical crisis. That's because parliamentary vacuum would form a very big blow to the country in addition to the presidential vacuum.
This is the first topic. I will be brief so that I will be able to cover all topics without transcending the time limit.
The second topic is presidential elections. Indeed every side in the country is holding the other side responsible for crippling presidential elections. I do not want to go into this fruitless debate because it is useless. However, I want to acknowledge something. As we said on the very first day, we are fair, and tonight I want to be fair in more than one topic as we always must be and as we have always been.
To be fair, we say that we are certain that no one in the country wants presidential vacuum or that anyone is plotting for this vacuum for whatever reason as some accuse others of. We do not accuse anyone. Indeed no one in our bloc thinks as such, and we do not accuse anyone in the other bloc of thinking in such a way too. We all want a president in Baabda as soon as possible. We always need to offer an approach as far as this issue is concerned. Lately, we were hearing that this issue has emerged from the hands of the Lebanese forces and has become a regional issue in the hands of regional powers.
Tonight, I call on the Lebanese political forces to work to restore this file from regional powers and work on it on the Lebanese level as usual.
I like to be frank and to say things precisely. When we say regional powers, whom do we mean in particular? A number of regional states are accused of being concerned with the Lebanese presidential election whether they liked it or not. Some regional states are our allies and friends while other states are the allies and friends of the other camp.
Well, let's see if we are able to restore this file and make it anew a national file apart from regional problems, repercussions, and challenges or not.
From our side, tonight I say frankly that this issue is resolved. As far as we are concerned, the regional states which back us are not responsible for any complications. Well, who are our allies? They are Syria and Iran.
Despite being preoccupied in its internal events, the Syrian leadership said that it approves on whatever its allies in Lebanon and the resistance approves on. Thus, as for us, the issue is already local. Syria has said that as a neighboring state it approves and agrees on what its allies in Lebanon and the resistance agree on and are reassured with. That is over then.
Now we come to Iran. Many of the political forces and personalities in Lebanon contacted the Iranian Ambassador to Beirut. Many visited Iran and met Iranian officials. Some mediate European states such as France to mediate with the Iranians. The Iranian brethrens said to all of these sides that this is an internal Lebanese affair and that they do not intervene in this affair.
After all, the Islamic Republic wants the presidential elections to take place and wants the resistance to be reassured and confident. So as far as this issue is concerned, we as a political bloc in the country are at ease regarding regional sides.
Neither Syria nor Iran demands anything from anyone in the world in exchange for facilitating and holding the presidential elections. Some have tried to link the Lebanese presidential file with the Iranian nuclear talks. These do not know anything about the Iranian nuclear talks. In fact, Iran refuses to connect its nuclear file with any other file - neither the presidency in Lebanon, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, nor Azerbaijan. It focuses its discussion and dialogue on this issue from the position of power and wisdom, and it refuses to be blackmailed at the expense of its friends, allies, and the peoples in the region to facilitate its nuclear file. So this is also settled.
It remains that you solve your problems. You have a problem with the regional axis you are allies with. You usually say that you don't have any problem with such and such or so and so but for example you say that our brethrens in Saudi Arabia do not approve on him. Well then try to address this dilemma.
Tonight I want to say that our bloc owns the national internal decision. Apart from any characterization, we own a regional authorization. Now do you own such a decision? Do you own a regional authorization? Can you take a decision without anyone from here or there practicing veto on you? This is what must be achieved at this stage. If the local forces want to engage in national dialogue on the presidential post, they must first liberate themselves from regional vetoes and regional wills to be able to reach a solution. There is another point in the framework of the presidential issue. As for us, we support a definite candidate who is known to everyone. He is not hidden. This candidate has the best Christian representation and the best national representation in the framework of the present and possible candidacies. Well, some tell you to facilitate presidential elections, you must give up this candidate or give up supporting this candidate. This is unfair and unnatural. Now we have a problem in Lebanon: if we harmonize with the Christian general tendency and support the Christian representative for presidential elections which is first a national post and second a Christian post, we would be accused of crippling elections. They also require from us to give up the natural, logical, moral, and political choice. Now suppose we gave this representative up and agreed as Muslims and as Muslim parliamentary blocs on a Christian president who is not seen by Christians as their true representative. What would we be doing? We would be canceling the Christian component. Then we would go back to the story of Christian frustration, cancelling the Christian existence, and conspiring against the only Christian president in the Levant. So there is a crisis and a problem. How is that addressed? That is addressed with dialogue and communication, and not with turning one's back to others and bargaining on regional and international changes. Here I am telling the Lebanese people and the Lebanese political forces: If you are waiting for regional and international changes, you will wait for a long time because the region has entered a phase of conflicts which will continue for years as everyone is saying. Do you want the post of Lebanese presidency to remain vacant for years? If you do not want that to take place, then there must be a serious national, internal endeavor to carry this main dialogue. All of us are ready to be part of this dialogue. However, the main dialogue must be with the normal candidate who is supported by our bloc and who is known by everyone and whose name is General Michel Aoun.
This is the only way. We must not wait for events and changes in the region and in the world around us. We must restore the file of presidential elections from the regional forces so that the decision be national again. We must also carry serious dialogue to decisively put an end to this dilemma.
Now we come to the latest security events in the North then I will move to the topic of the army and dialogue with the local, political forces and some points related to this issue.
No doubt that in the past few days Allah Al Mighty has saved Lebanon from a disastrous calamity and a very serious ordeal.
Anyway, through the data, information, and investigations, it has become clear what was prepared to Tripoli and the North within which viewpoint, plot, and in contact with whom. Here I do not want to reiterate what was said as you have all followed that. With time, investigations, arrests, and documents, these things will be revealed absolutely. Praise be to Allah! Allah Al Mighty has saved Lebanon, Tripoli, and the North from a disastrous tragedy.
No doubt the Lebanese Army [LA] has shouldered the main responsibility in confronting this threat, through its leadership, officers, troops, martyrs and wounded soldiers. The LA has assumed this responsibility whether in the field of fighting or on the media and political level. It has tolerated much accusations and insults from here and there; however, it carried on with its work and national responsibilities and made it.
Here we assert our confidence, faith, and conviction that the LA along with the official security forces - though the LA comes first and in particular - forms the true guarantee to Lebanon and that there is no alternative to the LA as far as this issue is concerned - i.e. in preserving security, stability, national integrity, and defending the state.
Now to clarify any obscurity, we say that we have never presented the resistance or ourselves as responsible for security, stability, and civil peace on the security level. Well, on the political level, all the Lebanese are responsible. Thus this army which has proved its competence in more than one incident and in more than one confrontation and danger is able to assume this responsibility when provided with the political, official, and popular support and when it is granted the necessary financial capabilities and supplied with a larger human cadre.
So indeed tonight - on the tenth night of Muharram; the night of altruism, loyalty, and sacrifices - we must salute the institution which offers sacrifices and expresses loyalty.
Here I want you to listen carefully. Here we are talking without instincts. We are talking to be fair and logical. So to be fair, we must say that the other main element that helped in the North and consequently Lebanon overcoming this disastrous calamity is the stance of the people of Tripoli and the people of the North in general especially religious and political authorities, political leaderships and forces, as well as scholars and noticeable figures in the kind Islamic Sunni sect in Lebanon.
Was it not for this clear, decisive, noble, national stance from all of these Sunnite authorities and leaderships - whether these authorities belong to the other camp or to this camp-, events in the North and in Tripoli would have taken a totally different track. We indeed highly esteem this stance. First, I would like to say that this stance was a decisive factor in saving Lebanon from what was being prepared to it. We also hail this stance, conduct, and performance. We must highly esteem the stance of the Premier, the Lebanese Republic Mufti, all the political leaderships, and the former Premiers. Indeed we must record that the main role in this stance was for the Future Movement and the leadership of the Future Movement.
Tonight I am talking starting from Husseini morals. We differ in many stances, analyses, and evaluations on the internal level and on the regional level. At times we reach the stage of discord and even enmity. However, our morals which we inherited from our Prophet and his chaste Household (Peace be upon them) and noble companions oblige on us to mention, thank, and highly appreciate any rightful, noble, and national stance that serves the public interest apart from all our other disputes and discussions and apart from all what was said about the previous incidents in Tripoli to the effect that here they were wrong, there they covered the events, there they armed, there they did so and so. Let's keep all of this aside. At this critical and very important moment in the history of Lebanon, a major and important political movement takes such a national stance in confronting such a difficult position - and we know that this is a difficult position. Some may say this is its interest. Yes, this stance is for the interest of the people of Tripoli, the people of the North, the Future Movement, and the Sunni Sect in Lebanon. Still it is for the interest of all the Lebanese and the state of Lebanon. There is no problem in that.
In this framework, calls were made through media outlets for dialogue. In fact, I do not want to comment on what is said in media outlets. To interpret things, we say that if someone wants to make dialogue with another, he cannot call him names and insult him and then at last tell him I am ready to make dialogue with you. So some may say you are at times invited to make dialogue via media outlets and you do not answer them and even turn the deaf ear to these calls. Well if we are to be all ears, we must say that if we differ with each other, both sides must still address each other with respect. Now we differ on the internal and regional levels as well as in our calculations, choices, and evidences... However, it is clear that if we want to protect the country, safeguard the country, and spare it from many calamities, we must talk with each other. Let's talk with each other then. Here I am telling you: You are most welcome. However, keep what's in the media in the media because you know that the media is at times a place for bargains and to seize opportunities and to fabricate local leaderships here and there. We are in a critical stage in which we must transcend all of that.
However, what I want to tell you, all the Lebanese, and all who are listening to me tonight is that in the past few days there are allies and friendly sides which had contacted us apart from the media and told us whether it is due time for dialogue between Hizbollah and the Future Movement or not yet. We told them we do not have any problem in that. We are ready for anything that protects the country, safeguards the country, and brings the country together. We are the people of dialogue. We have logic, we have our rhetoric, we have evidence, we have a cause, and we are not afraid. Only the weak run away from dialogue and fears dialogue, the principle of dialogue, the principle of meeting, the principle of the Lebanese sitting together, discussing, and making dialogue. Indeed there is national interest in that. Tonight I also announce that we are ready for dialogue, and this issue will be followed up.
Let's go back to the LA. We are with every support that is given to the LA to enable it to assume its responsibilities. In this framework was the Iranian donation which was offered by the Islamic republic in Iran. Indeed all through the past period of time it was said that Iran will not offer anything; it will not help; Iran talks in general; there is nothing tangible; there is no document. In fact, the Iranians talked to this effect since some time, and for years we have been talking. We talked with the President of the Republic. We talked with the Premier. We talked with the Defense Minister. We also talked with other officials.
If what was required was that we present a written document with a signature, we are ready for that. A senior delegation came and had talks with Lebanese officials. He told them: "We are ready to offer a donation. Indeed this donation will be the prelude for important and continuous Iranian donations, and we are ready for that."
The arms, ammunition, and equipment to be donated are ready. Let the Lebanese and the Lebanese government approve on them, and the airplane will carry them to Beirut Airport.
Then we noticed that there is an argument in the country. Some said how are we to accept a donation from Iran? They viewed the issue from a political perspective, a regional perspective, and the existing sensitivities though from the very beginning the Iranian officials said this donation is unconditional. You just have to take it. They tossed this issue to political dialogue. They pushed it to be discussed legally and in the United Nations. They also tended to prohibit it at a time all of that is disputable. It is not true. These are feeble evidences.
Tonight I want to ease tensions in my own way. Some Lebanese officials talked with us saying do you want to make a crisis in Lebanon and in the Lebanese government over the Iranian donation to the LA?
I will tell you what we told them via the television screen and from this complex: "No we do not want to make a problem. We do not want to make a crisis or anything of this sort. I officially say that the Lebanese government is now supposed to answer. Do you - the Lebanese government - want to accept this donation? It is in fact for the interest of Lebanon and the LA. It opens the door for true and important aids because here there are no acts of buying and selling. There are no brokers, mediators, or money. There is rather ammunition: missiles, rockets, and shells. Come and fetch them. It is an absolutely clean operation.
Do you like to move towards a clear operation that supports the Lebanese Army?
You are welcome. If you find yourselves embarrassed with the Americans for example or with anyone else, we do not want to cause you any embarrassment. By the way, Iran does not use pressure. Imagine that someone offers a donation and then pressures on you to accept the donation. Have this ever taken this in history? Iran wants to help, and it does not want to embarrass Lebanon. We too as a Lebanese team in the government and in the political life declare that we do not want to embarrass anyone to accept it. Be at ease. Make your discussions. If you like to accept the donation say you do. If you don't, say so. You are free but you will be the losers. There is no problem in any decision you take. This is as far as the Iranian donation is concerned.
Now we move to the second point that also has to do with the LA. It is the issue of the kidnapped Lebanese soldiers. Though we do not tackle this issue in the media because from the first day we said this is the responsibility of the government as we as Hizbollah have our special condition for we are present in Syria, and we partake in the fight there.
Thus, the armed forces are somehow sensitive from us. For these reasons, we prefer that we do not approach this issue in the media so that it won't be exploited at the expense of the issue of the kidnapped soldiers. Otherwise, I would like to assert to the Lebanese and especially to the families of the soldiers kidnapped by the terrorist groups that this cause is in our minds and hearts as it is in the minds and hearts of every Lebanese person, and I know that the Lebanese government is seriously following up this issue. It is a complicated issue. Some try to simplify it.
No! The issue is complicated especially that the other side - the armed forces - is not committed to the simplest conditions of the success of negotiations which is secrecy and confidentiality. When the armed groups speak out everything pertaining to negotiations open in the media, that makes us doubt whether they really want to reach a solution and settle this cause or not. They want to exploit the cause of the kidnapped soldiers to keep a link with the media, to blackmail politically, and to provoke incitement in the country. This really opens the door to several questions.
Anyway, the government is seriously following up this, and we know that. I call on the families of the kidnapped soldiers to have more patience, to be more tolerant, to be more adherent, and to support more and more the Lebanese government. That's because in such a complicated cause, things require uniting forces and cooperation to reach the desired end.
There is still one point concerning the local situation before moving to the regional situation. Tonight I call on the Lebanese government which is indeed preoccupied with the security issues, the kidnapped soldiers, the issue of the displaced and all the urgent files not to ignore the daily, living, economic, and social files. After all, there is a great section of the Lebanese people who is succumbing under much pressure which need much tolerance and enormous power. The only side able and concerned in solving these files is the government. The government - the state - is the only side capable of that. In fact, no matter how much the political forces, the societies, and the movements tried to fill gaps, offer help, and exert efforts, their efforts remain very much humble before the magnitude of the living and social crises which many of the Lebanese suffer from.
The government must not act as a caretaking government or as an emergency body only. It must rather be a government that has all the authority. It must assume all the responsibility to be able to get along in this country and to confront all of these difficulties.
Before wrapping up my speech, I have a final word to say on the situation in the region, and I will keep the rest until tomorrow.
We always hear in Lebanon and in the region too as well as in some western and European research centers and media outlets that there are major and dangerous conflicts in the region - military, security, and political conflicts, challenges, and dangers. Countries are being demolished. What do they say about this conflict? How do they describe it? How do they comprehend it? They say that it is a Sunni-Shiite conflict, that the conflict in the region is a Sunni-Shiite conflict, and that the conflict in Lebanon is a Shiite-Sunnite conflict. Consequently, some leaderships or sides who are neither Shiites nor Sunnites consider themselves to be unconcerned in this conflict. They must have a different stance. This is a big mistake which is being perpetrated against the region, the peoples of the region, and the truth of what is taking place in the region.
Brothers and sisters! If you have someone who is sick and you want to address his sickness, you must know what his sickness is first. Isn't this right? What is making him feel sick? You take him to the family doctor who makes for him a general diagnosis. However, if his problem is in the stomach, he must go to a specialized doctor. If the problem is in the eyes, he must go to an ophthalmologist. If his problem is in his nerves, he goes to a neurologist.
Any mistake in diagnosis would make the cure fruitless. The cure may also take a long time and still it would be fruitless. After a long time - 20 years perhaps - he will find out that the problem is here while for all the past years he thought it was there!
The same applies to political crises. When we talk about conflicts, the mistake in understanding the truth about the conflict, the mistake in diagnosing, understanding, and knowing the nature of the conflict cripple the cure and make it consume more time.
I will give an example in my own way in giving details. In Lebanon, we have a village in which there are Muslims and Christians. There are families and their children from both sects. They live together for hundreds of years. The Muslims belong to a specific political organization, and the Christians belong to a specific political organization. One day, an incident took place between the Christian and Muslim young men in the village. It was a personal incident. You know what kind of incidents take place in villages. For example, someone wants to pass before the other. Well, these young men quarreled, and an incident took place in the village. Now let's diagnose this problem. Is it a personal incident between these young men who quarreled for trivial reasons or a familial problem between a Christian family and a Muslim family as it happened to be? Are there old problems between these families, and the young men took it as an excuse and fought with each other? As such, the problem would be a familial problem. Or is the problem related to sects? As such because these are Muslims and the others are Christians, they fought with each other. Or is it that the problem is political? As such because these belong to this political faction and the others belong to another political faction, and these factions are at odds, thus the problem took place in the village?
There is a big difference if it is a personal problem, a familial problem, a political problem, or a problem between sects. In the way we diagnose the problem, we can reach the right solution without wasting time. So we don't say that it is a personal problem, and at the same time we let the main political blocs in the country intervene. Though it is a trivial incident, but because we thought it is a political problem we had both political factions sit together and form a central committee and....
The same applies to what is taking place in the region now. I am not tackling this issue to waste time. You as well as all those who are listening as well as all the peoples of the region are concerned because this is our fate. No one can say I, or he, or she is not concerned in what is taking place in the region. That's because what is taking place in the region will draw the future and fate of the peoples in this region - our children, grandchildren, and generations. Well, there is a real danger now in the region. Conflicts are very grievous. Doesn't that deserve that we see what the nature of this conflict is?
The easiest thing is that we say that this conflict is between Sunnites and Shiites. This is a very big mistake. Let's take a quick look to see whether that is right or not. For example, if two persons from two families in a Shiite village fought with each other, can you say that this is a sectarian or factional conflict? No, that is a personal or a familial incident. Now if the village has families from more than one sect, this obscurity might take place.
So let's take a quick look to see whether that is right or not. Is the conflict in the regional a Shiite-Sunnite conflict or not?
We will take quick examples. In Libya, two internal sides are fighting. At least one of these sides is bombing the other from warplanes, and both are shelling each other with rockets and staging suicide operations against each other. There are hundreds of victims killed and wounded by now. Houses are being demolished, and the war is taking place in more than one Libyan city. Each of the two Libyan sides is supported by a regional axis in the region. What have Shiites to do with this conflict? Where is the Sunnite-Shiite conflict in this? As long as we are saying things as they are let's name things. The Qatari-Turkish axis is supporting one side in Libya, and the Saudi-UAE axis along with others is supporting the other side in Libya. Well, where is the Shiite-Sunnite conflict between these two axes in Libya? Where are the Shiites in Libya who are part of the Sunnite-Shiite conflict? Well, that is an important country and a dear people. They suffered a lot under Kaddafi, and they were waiting for salvation and a noble and a happy life but they did not find but this calamity before them. Is this conflict to be dubbed a Sunnite-Shiite conflict? What has this to do with that? This is first.
I will give more examples to show how this categorization is wrong. For example, you say that the problem with this family is that they are all tall. But when you see them, you find that the first one is short as well as the second and the third and the fourth. As such, you find that the problem isn't that they are all tall.
Let's move to Egypt now. In Egypt, there is a big problem on the level of the country as a whole: in politics, elections, and demonstrations. There is fighting in Sinaa between the Egyptian Army and the armed forces. Indeed, in all what I am saying I do not want to take any position. I do not want to say that this side is rightful while the other side is not. I am depicting. I am interpreting what I am seeing in the region. What is taking place? Well, this is Egypt. What has the Shiites to do with Egypt? Where is the Sunnite-Shiite conflict?
There are conflicting political forces. They are all from our Sunnite brethrens. In Sinaa, the Egyptian Army is fighting with armed forces. Where is the Sunnite-Shiite conflict? Notice that what is taking place in Egypt is very important and serious not only on the Egyptian level but also on the level of the region as a whole. So first I talked about a political bloody conflict in an isolated far country, and now I am talking about a conflict in a country which forms half of the Arabs and is in the heart of the Middle East. Well, this conflict which is not a Sunnite-Shiite conflict is one of the major forms of conflict in the region. Still you are not taking it into consideration in the depiction you are making.
Well, coming closer to the sensitive place, we move to Syria. Someone might approach this issue saying the conflict with the regime is sectarian. That is not true however. Moreover, is the conflict between "ISIL" and Nosra - this long bloody conflict - in which thousands were killed and wounded a Sunnite-Shiite conflict? Is the conflict between Nosra and the other armed Syrian opposition factions the last of which took place in Idlib and Jabal Al Zawiyeh and the bursting and suicide operations between Nosra and the so called Syrian Rebels front a Sunnite-Shiite conflict? Is the battle in Ain Arab Kobane which preoccupied the region and the world and the international coalition a Sunnite-Shiite conflict? Now you wake up and sleep on news that the international coalition is bombarding Kobane? The Kurds and "ISIL" do not include Shiites as far as I know - that is if we want to make a sectarian categorization.
Do the attacks on Christians in Iraq and in Syria that mount to the level of annihilation have anything to do with a Sunnite-Shiite conflict? What is the relation? What have the Christians to do with a Sunnite-Shiite conflict? Does the extermination of Yezidis have anything to do with a Sunnite-Shiite conflict? Does targeting the other religious minorities have anything to do with a Sunnite-Shiite conflict? In Iraq, does the attack staged by "ISIL" on Kurds in Erbil have anything to do with a Sunnite-Shiite conflict? Most of the Kurds in Iraq are Sunnites. Well, why was all the fuss made there and why did they bring along the international coalition? That's because "ISIL" threatened Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, and these states are Sunnite states. So what does that have to do with a Sunnite-Shiite conflict?
So when we come to the major conflict in the region and the conflict of regional states among themselves - Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, and Turkey which insulted each other in the United Nations as we have followed up - what does that have to do with a Sunnite-Shiite conflict?
I am reiterating the phrase to emphasize the idea. This diagnosis is wrong and incorrect. What is happening in the region is a political conflict. There are states and political and popular forces that have visions that have to do with the future of their countries and the future of the region. They fight, struggle, and work to achieve this project whether it is rightful or not.
The conflict is not sectarian at all. Now it might happen that in one place both sides are from the Sunnite sect, and in another place one side is Sunnite while the other side is mixed and it includes Shiites. Does that make the conflict a Sunnite-Shiite struggle? Never! Does the axis we belong to, fight in, and help to keep steadfast and to keep its banner raised high a purely Shiite axis? Not at all! It is rather a political axis which comprises various and diversified religious, sectarian, factional, and intellectual inclinations. This is the truth.
Well yes some sides might act and move with a doctrinal background as I said a couple of nights ago. Still that does not mean that the conflict is sectarian. The Takfiris act according to such a mentality; however, their struggle is not sectarian. Their enmity is not against the Shiites only. It is also against Shiites, Sunnites, Christians, Druze, and all the sects, and everyone who is against them, and everyone other than they. That's their mentality. However, the truth of the conflict is not that. I wanted to make this presentation to reach a conclusion.
First, we must understand and comprehend that the truth of this conflict is not sectarian, and comprehending that requires intellectual, cultural, media, and political efforts.
Second, we - the sides concerned in this conflict must not accept turning this conflict to a sectarian conflict. I have a word to say to the Shiites, the Sunnites, the Christians, and to the rest of Muslims.
We as Shiites must not accept to deal with the conflict taking place in the region as a sectarian conflict. Our battle in the region as Shiites is not with Sunnites. It is rather with the American hegemony. It is with the "Israeli" project. It is with the Takfiris who want to crush everyone. The battle is not sectarian or factional as far as we are concerned. We must not accept that, and we must not act accordingly. Never!
I will give an example. Saddam Hussein who ruled Iraq was a Sunnite. He killed Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnites from among the Iraqi people though Shiites were the sect which paid the heaviest price. Even now in the collective graveyards which are being discovered, it is being revealed that Saddam Hussein killed hundreds of thousands of Shiites apart from the Iranian-Iraqi War. We are talking on the internal level. Saddam Hussein killed our best and senior scholars and authorities. Martyr Sayyed Mohammad Baqer Sader was murdered by Saddam Hussein who also destroyed our Hawzas, bombarded Imam Ali's (Peace be upon him) Shrine in Holy Najaf with artillery and warplanes, and bombarded the Shrines of Imam Hussein and Abi Al Fadl Al Abbass (Peace be upon them) in Karbala with artillery and warplanes. Does any Shiite person, or Shiite scholar, or Shiite authority, or Shiite party ever say the Sunnites killed us, bombarded our Holy Shrine, killed Martyr Sader, and hundreds of thousands of Shiite Iraqis? Never! That never took place.
Did anyone ever say the Sunnites are killing us? Never! Watch the media, review history, and see the events! What took place? We consider that Saddam Hussein and his assistants killed us. We do not consider that the Sunnites killed us. When the Shrine of Imam Askari and Imam Hadi (peace be upon them) was bombarded in Samura, we considered that the Takfiris bombarded the shrine of our Imams and not the Sunnites. We staged a demonstration here, and the demonstration included Sunnites, Shiites, and Sunnite scholars. They wore shrouds along with us, and we walked together in the streets. So this methodology is correct. Today, if someone is being oppressive, tyrannical and a killer or if we differ with him in politics and it happens that he is a Sunnite, that won't mean that our problem is with the Sunnites. This is as far as Shiites are concerned.
As for Sunnites, we hope that they be aware and cautious. For achieving their goals, some states present the struggle as a Sunnite-Shiite struggle to attract all the Sunnites in its battle and project. For example, they fabricate a conflict with Iran. Why? They would say because Iran is a Shiite state. Well, I want to ask a question: Was Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi who ruled before Sayyed Khomeini a Sunnite or a Shiite? In fact, he used to take pains to visit Imam Reza annually. He also used to send his family to Najaf. Well, why were you friends and allies with Iran of the Shah though he was with "Israel", and why are you against Imam Khomeini - the Shiite - who is with Palestine, the Palestinian people, the Arabs, and Muslims and you turn the political conflict with him to a Sunnite-Shiite struggle? Isn't this a fallacy? Isn't this deception and delusion?
I have a call to make because the stage is very critical. We may all go to fanaticism. We can all make speeches and articulate slogans. We all know how to stir the audiences.
This stage requires being aware and wise. It requires a high degree of responsibility. We must be aware of where and to what battle the others want to drag us.
I have a word to the Christians too. Perhaps the Christians say they are not concerned and they are neutral and away from the sphere of the dilemma, and that the conflict is between Shiites and Sunnites: What are we to do for them and to help them? If they think as such they are misled. Everyone is targeted. The rest of the Muslim sects are targeted. Everyone is targeted by what is taking place in the region. Everyone must act with wisdom, awareness, and responsibility. Everyone must take a deep breath, climb to the top of the mountain, contemplate and think of what is taking place around. There is no problem in talking together, holding dialogue with each other, and making discussions with each other, instead of insulting each other in newspapers.
There is no problem if we are tough on each other in internal sessions. Perhaps as such we reach somewhere. This is the truth of the conflict. Thus in this conflict we must be knowledgeable and aware so as to make the right diagnosis and to make the right performance, and to achieve victory and success. Otherwise, we will all lose in the battle, and we will all lose our region.
Tomorrow is the day of infinite sacrifice, altruism, and giving. Tomorrow is the day of loyalty, faithfulness, firmness, determination, adoration, and love.
Tomorrow is the day of sorrow, the day of shed blood, the day of tears, and the day of eternal sighs. However, it is also the day of enthusiasm, the day of the epic, the day of inspiration, and the day of the ideal sample.
Tomorrow, Abu Abdullah Al Hussein (peace be upon him) will show up again on this world as he leads the battle of defending the Islam of his Grandfather Mohammad (Peace be upon him and his Household) and the battle of this nation and its existence, dignity, and sanctities. He will make again his eternal call which he was not making to the alive martyrs or to the dead army of Omar Bin Saad. He was rather addressing men and women in the wombs of women and the
lions of men since that time through generals until Doom's Day: Is there any supporter ready to support me?
This call expresses your commitments to the values of Karbala, the significance of Karbala, the morals of Karbala, the spirituality of Karbala, and the loyalty of Karbala as it has always done all through the past years. To acquit myself in this world and in the Hereafter, tonight I like to bear witness and say that when I see you in all challenges and in all risks, and in face of "Israeli" aggressions or any other aggression, we do not see in you and in your faces but this Husseini loyalty, firmness, and faithfulness. This is what we see in all days and around the clock in the faces of the families of martyrs and in the faces of the wounded, and in the faces of the patient fighters who are garrisoned in all fields. We also see that in our families who are offering their sons, souls, money, and dear ones, and proving that their call: "At your service - O Hussein" is sincere.
Tomorrow we will hear the voice of Al Hussein (Peace be upon him) which was heard on the Day of Ashura in year 61 A.H. We will hear his voice in all squares where we will gather to renew our pledge of allegiance, to tell him that we are with him, and we will never abandon him even if we were limbed and burnt.
Tomorrow we will prove to the world. Tomorrow we will prove to Al Hussein (Peace be upon him), tomorrow we will prove to the friend and the foe, to the lover and the ill-wisher that we are not afraid of threats, dangers, or challenges. We are the men and women who will always cry high in the fields and squares: O Hussein!
Tomorrow we will wrap up all of these ceremonies Inshallah which Allah Al Mighty have granted us success in marking. We ask Allah Al Mighty to accept all your offerings, and to grand you more obedience, and to guard you, and to support you all.
Peace be on you, my master and lord Abi Abdullah, and on all the souls gathering around your holy site. Peace be on you as long as I remain alive and as long as night follows day. May Allah make it not my last visit to you. Peace be on Hussein, Ali the son of Hussein, the children of Hussein, and the companions of Hussein. Peace be upon you, and Allah's mercy and blessings.