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Every year on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, worldwide rallies are held to commemorate the Palestinian people’s resistance against Israel and their struggle to liberate their territories which have been occupied by Israel for decades. Millions of pro-Palestinian marchers, including Muslims and non-Muslims, take to the streets to denounce Israel’s atrocities against the people of Palestine. Quds Day is a far cry from a casual Islamic religious event. It is, indeed, a human rights event open to both Muslim and non-Muslims alike.

However this year, there is a plan to replace street rallies with online events to commemorate the International Quds Day as a deadly coronavirus pandemic has restricted mass gatherings across the globe. We can properly use the potential offered by the cyberspace in this regard. The online event will also include presentations reminding people of the Palestinians’ plight. The forced cancellation of the annual marches around the world does not mean forgetting the Palestinians at this important time of the Islamic year.

This year’s Quds Day is of special importance given US President Donald Trump’s pro-Israel polices that have emboldened the Tel Aviv regime. In January, Trump unveiled his self-proclaimed “deal of the century” with the aim of legitimizing Israel’s occupation and re-drawing the Middle East map. The scheme calls for the creation of a Palestinian state with limited control over its own security and borders. It also bars Palestinian refugees from returning to their homeland, enshrines Jerusalem al-Quds as “Israel’s undivided capital” and allows the regime to annex settlements and the Jordan Valley.

As we are commemorating the International Quds Day, which is the last Friday of Ramadan we are witnessing the Zionist genocidal occupiers going into a kind of an extreme frenzy, as they try to erase Palestine from the map. The Zionists are planning to annex part of occupied Palestine, meaning they’re going to claim that it is all part of so-called Israel. And this is, of course, a complete, extreme violation of all international law as well as the dozens if not hundreds of UN resolutions on the matter.

Nonetheless we are gladdened by the fact that the Israeli regime has been facing increasing isolation among nations across the world. A global movement called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is one of the popular campaigns launched against Israel in an effort to force the regime to comply with international law and Palestinian rights. Initiated by Palestinian non-governmental groups back in 2005, the movement has been gaining momentum in recent years. Many universities, trade unions and organizations as well as human rights groups in Europe and North America have been joining the campaign. We hope to see the extension of this boycott in Africa, Nigeria in particular very soon. The BDS is similar to the earlier boycotts of South Africa during its apartheid era and is aimed at piling up economic pressure on Israel by boycotting Israeli products and companies.

Similarly as we express our concern towards the plight of the Palestinians, we are not oblivious of our own plight at the hand of this brutal Buhari regime, which has been applying high handed illegal tactics to keep our leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky in perpetual detention and his followers. What the Nigerian security agents have been doing in suppressing the Islamic Movement is no different and sometimes even worse than what their masters Israeli Zionists are doing to the Palestinians in Palestine.

We will like to reiterate our resolve not to rest on our oars until our leader Sheikh Zakzaky, his wife and hundreds of others in illegal detention regain their freedom unconditionally. The federal government has no any cogent reason in its flagrant disobedience to a 2016 federal court order freeing our leader. Therefore today and beyond we will keep on saying free Sheikh Zakzaky, free Quds!