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Lectures >2004 Speeches >04/06/2004

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Religious Authority, Ayatullah Al Ozma Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Rabi'II 16 1425 H,June 4 2004 A.D. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

Tyranny: Transgressing the Bounds of Justice and Humanity

The First Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Tyranny: Arrogance and Conceit

Allah says in His Holy Book: {Go thou unto Pharaoh! Lo! He hath transgressed (the bounds)} 20: 24

{This (shall be so) and most surely. There is an evil resort for the inordinate ones} (38:55)

{Then as for him who is inordinate, and prefers the life of this world, then, surely the hell, that is the abode: And as for him who fears to stand in the presence of his Lord and forbids the soul from low desires, Then surely the garden-- that is the abode}. (79:37-41)

{Surely hell lies in wait, a place of resort for the inordinate} (78:21-22)

Tyranny (transgressing the bounds) has been repeated several times in the Glorious Quran, both on the individual or personal level and as a phenomenon of power and system of government and even with regard to religion and Sharia when man transgresses them.

With respect to man, tyranny is the condition of surpassing that normal and rational realm of his view of himself or in his dealing with the other. A revealing example would be the feeling of an extremely rich man that he is better than others to the extent that he would despise them and believe that he is free to deal with them as he sees fit.

Then, there is the tyranny that is based on power whether physical or political. Here we are dealing, for example, with a head of a tribe, a sect or party who has many followers, giving him a feeling that he is superior to them. He might believe that he has rights over them where they do not have any right over him. If such a person assumes power, he would act in a tyrannical manner. This is true whether on a local level, a regional one or even at the international one.

This is what we notice by the attitudes of the major economic powers, which use their powers to weaken the downtrodden nations and control their resources and even enslave them, through their needs since man is enslaved by his own needs.

The same thing is true with respect to the weaker countries where tyranny could be a phenomenon that is seen at the local level as a result of individuals who have either vast financial resources or big following.

It could well be that the nations are responsible for the making of these tyrants even in international politics, for they believe that they are too weak to confront the tyrants and yield to their humiliating subjection.

People make Tyrants

When we study the phenomenon of tyranny and how it develops, we find that the tyrant is like the rest of the people in that he does not have the power to do himself any good or evil. In the light of this fact, we believe that the tyrants are made by the people who follow them out of greed for money or powers, enabling them to have thousands of supporters, who would blindly follow them like a herd even they were to be delivered to another tyrant. The tyrant is but one person; nevertheless he becomes a tyrant as a result of your stand and mine; your support and mine. He strikes with our swords, for we are the ones who defend and protect the tyrants and the unjust because we hope to get something in return, perhaps a job, or some money and the like.

But we bear the responsibility of this attitude, before God in the Hereafter. He would ask us why you supported this or that tyrant. This is what all the weakened and downtrodden should think of: They are the ones that give the tyrant his strength and power, and they will bear the responsibility of all that.

We even educate ourselves on tyranny to the extent that we could say that we live the culture of tyranny… When the man in our households does not let his wife discuss with him or does not accept any difference of opinions that his children might exhibit, and some reach the level of choosing the career or even who his children should marry and resort to violence to enforce their will… Is not this a form of tyranny? Living such ordeals will educate children on tyranny and they will proceed to apply it themselves… Thus we believe that the first school that teaches tyranny is the family.

Tyranny is also dominant in our political life… We notice that political parties claim to believe in democracy and human rights, but who would dare to challenge the opinion of the heads of these parties. Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) says: Be just for you consider the injustice of other people a vice. Nevertheless, tyranny in its ugliest form is the norm in our Arab world and probably in the entire East as well.

There are a lot of people who do not say what they believe in because they are afraid that they will be sacked or at least punished. Those who respect themselves should allow the people around them to say what they believe to be right.

The Prophet, the Master of all beings, used to be told by some people: Be just, and he would simply answer: if I do not, who will?

Towards the end of his life, he addressed the people in one of his speeches saying: You do not have anything against me, for I have not made lawful, except what the Quran made lawful and did not prohibit except what it prohibited.

He was responsible before God Who sent him and not before the people, yet he wished to teach those who were to come after him that they should be held accountable by the people.

But have you heard a leader or a senior official who made a fortune stand and holds himself accountable by the people. Muhammad (p.) told the believers: "The people before you perished because they used to let the dignitaries run away with their theft, but when a weakened stole they punished him. He added:"By God if Fatima daughter of Muhammad steals, I will cut her hand off"

We have to learn from these Holy verses and traditions that we should neither act as tyrants nor make tyrants and support them.

Anybody who supports a tyrant whether by voting, taking a stand or fighting on his side would bear the responsibility of what he does. The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali said: "The unjust is a tyranny awaiting one of two punishments”. As for the second punishment in the Hereafter, Allah says: {Then as for him who is inordinate, and prefers the life of this world, then surely the hell that is the abode: And as for him who fears to stand in the presence of his Lord and forbids the soul from low desires, Then surely the garden-- that is the abode}.(79:37-41)

The Second Sermon

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Bush’s admission

The American President, George Bush, admits that he cannot bear it if his country was occupied. He also admitted that not all of the Iraqi fighters are terrorists… adding that they cannot tolerate occupation, and that neither he nor anyone else would if they were in their shoes. He went on to say that the suicidal are the terrorists. And that he will return the sovereignty to the Iraqis on June 30…

We welcome this admission that confirms that the Americans did not enter Iraq as liberators, but as occupiers who seek to implement their strategic plans in the country and the region and to promote their political economic and security interests… It is an admission that made many of those who were deceived by the American claims of freedom discover how wrong they were and how superficial their approach is.

He admits that Iraqis love freedom and wish to run their own affairs like any other nation including the Americans, and that they are ready to fight occupation. But if these fighters are according to Bush fighting for the freedom of their country and people, how could he then explain the acts of military aggression that the American troops have carried out against them especially that these acts have killed more civilians than fighters and violated the sacredness of the Holy cities of Najaf and Karbala?

Moreover, why does he consider that the Palestinian Mujahideen who are fighting the Zionist occupation are terrorists; although they have announced that they are ready to coexist peacefully with the Jewish state once it withdraws and ends its aggression?

Furthermore, if he believes that the Martyr operations are acts of terror why does not he talk about the Jews who kill thousands of Palestinian civilians, assassinate political leaders in streets crowded with civilians, bulldoze gardens, demolish houses and dislocate thousands of families. The resistance has to exert pressure on the Israeli security, for this is the only way to protect its people… The American President has to see these operations in their actual context… that of war, and as such, they are acts of resistance.

He, then, says that he guarantees sovereignty for the Iraqis. But what kind of sovereignty is the one that involves imposing a government that does not have electoral legitimacy on the Iraqis? The American civilian ruler, Bremer, who puts on military shoes, has imposed on the Iraqis this government. He is but a dictator, as described by the UN representative, Al Akhdar Al-Ibrahimi, who also added that the new Iraqi government lacks sovereignty.

How would then the staying of American troops in Iraq be legitimate if it is accepted by a government that could not refuse the American orders?

Moreover, how could the yielding to the pressures aiming at legitimizing the American dominance of the Iraqi natural resources be considered a sovereign act?

The Americans only aim is to promote their own interests and even the individual interests of their senior officials, as is evident by the stories that were run by the media stating that the American vice president has lobbied to ensure that one of the companies he used to work for was awarded contracts worth billions of Dollars.

The problem in Iraq now is that occupation is trying to use sovereignty to legitimize its presence. In this respect, we would like to ask our folk in Iraq whom we wish all freedom: What power could help them to say "No" in the presence of tens of thousands of American troops and the absence of a strong and effective Iraqi army.

Palestine: The Problem lies in occupation

In Palestine, the Zionist army invades each day a village, a town or a camp, killing civilians and bulldozing farms… in the meantime, the political spheres talk about unifying the security organizations as if the problem was one of security and not a political one. Meanwhile, several Arab and international intelligence agencies interfere to solve the security problem.

At the same time, they are all eager to try to save Sharon's separation plan as if it were the magical recipe that will save Palestine, and Bush advises the Palestinians to initiate their reform, as if the problem was in the absence of the reform and not in occupation.

We believe that the Palestinians have confronted and overcome all these international and Arab plots to liquidate the Palestinian cause, but they still have to remain steadfast, since the enemy is now living in a very difficult situation that will force it to offer many concessions.

And lastly, no right is lost as long as there are those who demand it.

Lebanon: endless stalling

In Lebanon, things usually begin big, then as a result of stalling, negotiations, bidding and deal striking, they end up very small. It is a process of confiscating the vital issues of the people in the midst of sectarian or partisan feuds. The hegemony of private interests has prohibited any reform and legitimized corruption and waste to protect the dignitaries and the politicians who prevent the country from getting out of the dark tunnel.

As we emphasize the importance of the dialogue between the state and the productive and education sectors, we notice that this dialogue is a dialogue of the deaf in the absence of an economic plan, and in the absence of a reform that would save the people of the mafias of corruption or a judicial plan that ensures that nobody is above the law.

We are afraid that the economic problem could pave the way for more serious political and security problems.

But who could save the ship from sinking? Could it be those who are utilizing all possible means to make it sink?