During his Friday prayer sermon delivered to a large and fervent crowd of believers in the Iraqi city of Karbala’s Holy Shrine of Imam al-Husayn (A), Hujjat al-Islam Abdul-Mahdi al-Karbala’i described Thursday’s massive truck bombing of the Jamilah Market in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighbourhood as a “brutal” act, saying: “We strongly condemn this terrorist attack and ask God to give the injured a swift recovery and to have mercy on the martyrs.”
The representative of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani added: “ISIL has been prevented from achieving their evil goals due to the courageous resistance of the Iraqi people and innocent people’s criticism of their actions.”
He stressed that this vicious crime will not break the will of the Iraqi people but rather, it will lead to greater unity and increase their determination to fight terrorism, to clear their land of the ISIL filth and ultimately be victorious in the war against Takfirism.
Hujjat al-Islam al-Karbala’i demanded the Iraqi government as well as the security and intelligence agencies to take necessary measures to identify the perpetrators responsible for the bombing in Sadr City and added that the relevant authorities must identify the perpetrators of such tragic events before they occur and prevent such actions in the future.
‘More reforms needed to eradicate corruption’
In another part of his sermon, Karbala’s Friday prayer leader referred to the reform package presented by Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi, saying that since the 2014 change of government, the Shi’ite religious authorities have emphasized many times in various sermons and statements that the Iraqi government must seriously fight against financial and administrative corruption in the country’s governmental bodies.
“We appreciate (the reform package), and hope that these decisions are implemented in the near future… However, more measures are needed to eradicate corruption in the country,” he said, speaking on behalf of Ayatollah al-Sistani.
Hujjat al-Islam al-Karbala’i stressed that the Shi’ite authorities have called on the government to cooperate with the judicial system to reform it and prosecute those accused of corruption and bribery.
He stated that in one letter to the government, the sources of emulation called attention to the rights of people, including over electricity supplies and advised them to reduce the excessive number of unnecessary officials in the government, parliament and in the provinces.
The revered Iraqi scholar warned that currently there is no possibility of real reform due to the corruption in the judicial system and added that fighting corruption is possible if radical reforms were implemented, saying that these reforms will cause the roots of corruption in Iraq to whither.
Hujjat al-Islam al-Karbala’i also stressed that the Iraqi constitution should be amended and said some of the laws that the government and parliament had previously approved should be revised and only those laws that are in the best interest of the Iraqi people should be implemented.