Saad Harbiya, commander of Kirkuk Joint Operations, calls on religious figures to promote peaceful coexistence through the mosques.
Saad Harbiya, February 10, 2020, met with over a hundred religious figures with the presence of police and intelligence of the city of Kirkuk.
Yunis Mohammed Hassan, head of Sunni Waqf media in the city, said, “the security institutions had concerns on tolerance and coexistence among different ethnic components and asked us to promote it at the mosques.”
In his meeting with the religious officials, Harbiya criticized them that the relationships between the Sunni and the Shia people of the city is not good. He mentioned that it is not correct that they say the relationships is very good.
Not having a school where both beliefs are taught was an example that the commander gave according to Hassan.
At the same time, he praised their important roles during the war against ISIS.
The religious figures also expressed their concerns. They have stated that, “they have faced problems and were insult at the checkpoints by members of the security forces.”
“we said that religious officials should be respected and helped at the checkpoint,” Hassan added.
They have also told the commander to differentiate between “bad and good people” while the security forces conduct security search as a well as to decrease checkpoints in the city as they have “bothered people.”
Mullah Samal Jabar, an attendee of the meeting, said, “what we said in the meeting was that people of Kirkuk are not treated with dignity at the checkpoints. People should be treated in a civilized way… and the forces irresponsibly enter houses when they conduct searches.”