By Yusuf Abdullah
In the name of Allah who states "Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing" Q17:1
Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His chosen servant, our master Muhammad and his purified progeny.
While giving an open invitation to Muslims and the world on August 7th, 1979 to observe the day, Imam Khomeini of blessed memory said "I invite Muslims all over the glove to consecrate the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, which is a day of fate and which could also become the day on which the fate of Palestinian people might be determined as Quds day and to proclaim the legitimate right of the Muslim people of Palestine" The day expresses solidarity and global support to Palestinians, and indeed all other oppressed. Observed through processions, conferences and rallies by nations, human rights activists and civil liberties organizations, this insightful declaration of the Imam evidently received borderless acceptance.
Established after world war ii, Israel was promulgated and recognized by Western powers in 1948. Zionism as a movement developed in late 1800’s which united Jews and saw the forceful creation of the illegal state in place of Palestine, then occupied by only 5% Jewish inhabitants. To quote from Zariani Abdul Rahman’s book – HITLER AND THE WANDERING JEW, 1994. Just a few days ago, the diplomacy of the dignified and handsome Semitic Prince Faisal Abdul-Aziz al-Saud was lost on the hysterical crowd of New York Jews who were bent on literally spitting HRH. Nine centuries ago, while Christian Crusaders were burning Jerusalem’s Jews alive in their synagogue, it was the Muslim Saladin who kindly brought back Jews to Jerusalem, along with his Muslim followers. And 800 years later, within the UN headquarters in flushing Meadow, New York, this was how the Muslims were paid back for their past kindness to the Jews.
America was the apparent negotiator and chief architect of all road maps regarding the domination of Palestinians by Israel or what others ignorantly refer as incessant Mid-east conflict. Among other questions arising; was any tangible achievements made in the over seven decades of peace talks? Any optimism in the future? To what extent is the negotiator accused of double standard? Then, in whose interest does America work in the process? The other side of the conflict reveals the gainful arms trade to American and other European manufacturers.
On the ambitious liberation of Palestine, many thought the Arab league formed in 1945, with the aim of strengthening ties among member states, could coordinate their policies and protect their common interests. But what were the achievements of the league? To what extent did the league and its sister Palestinian liberation organization (PLO) achieve their stated objectives? The question is how could the Arab league and PLO, established on the basis of Arabism or Nationalism lead to emancipation of Palestine while the same Nationalism was used to destabilize the grand Ottoman empire and establish Israel in its place? No doubt, Quds Day is the only measure relevant for Quds liberation; the third holiest mosque and the first direction of Muslims. Unity is the force behind the call of this great Islamic personality, and ultimate hope for liberation of Palestine and other world oppressed. George Curzon, the British Secretary of state for foreign affairs, 1911-1921 said "we must put an end to anything which brings about Islamic unity between the sons of the Muslims. As we have already succeeded in finishing off the caliphate, so we must ensure that there will never arise again unity for the Muslims, whether it be intellectual or cultural unity" “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves” Q3:103. That is why the spiritual leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamne’i maintains that the ISIS clearly serves the American interest in the Middle-east accusing any cooperation with the US to resolve the Iraqi or Syrian situation of sowing discord and divisions in the region.
In a borderless sympathy, the day basically sympathizes with Palestinians and other oppressed regardless of all odds, and to fight oppression and injustice as common enemies. The Imam bitterly debunked apartheid and helped Nelson Mandela in the fight against it. On the other hand, Mandela said "the independence of South Africa was incomplete without the freedom of Palestine". And on his first visit to Tehran after release from long incarceration, he appreciated the fatherly role of the Imam and Iran’s historic support. Late Hugo Chavez observed the day where he would be seen in the forefront of the events among other protesters in his country.
The world is aware of the unfortunate Saudi military campaign against Yemen since 2015. Ironically, it’s a deliberate aggression by the richest and most influential Muslim Arab nation against the poorest and closest neighbour. The consequence of the aggression in Yemen is what the United nation described as the worst humanitarian crises in contemporary history. We use this occasion to champion the cause of other world oppressed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Nigeria, and Central Africa among others.
Since the unfortunate 2015 Zaria massacre, and non response of the government, endless questions are raised; what was the actual rationale behind the attack on the Islamic movement? On what ground was the Sheikh arrested? In whose interest are the elderly and ailing Sheikh, his wife and other disciples being detained? What is the government’s stand on the Federal High Court verdict? Why does the government disregard calls of millions of Nigerians on the need to take him abroad for medication? And to what extent will the detention continue? What is the stand of the government on the over one thousand Nigerians killed in Zaria, Kano, and Abuja evidently recorded, and related incidences? This also exposes the lies of the so called developed nations who claim leading positions in protection and promotion of fundamental human rights across the world. What a double stand! If peace, unity and progress of this country were the uncompromising yardsticks to assess significant relevance of the citizenry, who can dare to compare his eminence, the indefatigable leader of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky with any scholar, politician or else in our contemporary history?
With the access of the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission; an august umbrella of about 30 Islamic and other nongovernmental organizations of Global network for justice, to the ailing Sheikh and his wife last month, an assessment of their health was made by a team of experts mainly from India. The development was consequent to the Sheikh’s lawyers incessant notice on their clients health in court sessions as known to all for which the judge mandated the exercise for the duo. It is imperative to acknowledge the effort by the people wishing peace to reign and justice to prevail all over the world. As emphasized by the Imam “the Quds Day is a universal day. It is not an exclusive day for Quds itself. It is a day for the oppressed to rise and stand up against the arrogant.”
Presently, the world is aware of the US and its allies heightening pressures on Iran fuelling fears for a possible war. The Iranophobia is meant to limit its growing might and influence in the region which is apparently non-achievable. America’s withdrawal from JCPOA, continuous moral and military support to Israel and incessant interference in the region is not unconnected with Iran’s impressive role in its security and wellbeing. There is no doubt that there is always limit to oppression. At this juncture, the famous words of Sheikh el-Zakzaky, as he gave hope to oppressed especially Palestinians are relevant "Israel was created by terrorism. No matter the years of oppression, it will crumble"
While sympathizing with the Palestinians on this day, we denounce the enemies’ unending brutality and bloodshed especially in Yemen, Somalia and Nigeria among others. We use the same medium to emphasize the urgent need for the unconditional release of Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky (H) and his disciples. As we mark the day of the oppressed, we also appreciate the role of all justice seeking and concerned individuals and organizations on the plight of Palestinians and other oppressed.