by Khadijah Ali (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 53, No. 2, Ramadan, 1444)
Today, more than ever before, the annual Quds Day rallies have assumed great importance. Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the Holy Land (Palestine) are under the control of fanatical zionists who have made no secret of their desire to wipe out the Palestinians and destroy al-Masjid al-Aqsa, the first Qibla of Muslims.
At the outset it must be pointed out that protecting Masjid al Aqsa is not the sole responsibility of the Palestinians. True, they have paid a very high price for protecting it because they happen to reside in Palestine. Tens of thousands have been killed by the marauding zionists; thousands of others are languishing in prisons that can only be described as torture chambers. Women and children are among those imprisoned in the Israeli dungeons where torture—physical, emotional and sexual—is rampant.
Muslims everywhere have a responsibility to help protect Masjid al Aqsa and the Palestinian people. This begins with highlighting the threat they face. The annual Quds Day rallies provide a great opportunity to highlight the continuous illegal occupation of al-Quds and Palestine and the suffering of the Palestinian people that have intensified even more since neo-Nazis grabbed power in Israel last December.
These unabashed racists and bigots have openly called for wiping out Palestinian villages. They even go so far as to deny the existence of the Palestinian people. Thus, as they continue with their genocidal policy, they say the Palestinians ‘do not exist’, so how can we kill them. One can imagine the uproar that would erupt, quite rightly, if someone said they want to wipe out a Jewish village or town or, the Jews as a people do not exist.
These grim circumstances force every person concerned about human life and dignity to speak out against such crimes. The Quds Day rallies that have now become a global phenomenon, provide such an opportunity. It is imperative that as many people as possible join these rallies that are held near the end of the month of Ramadan in most major cities worldwide.
Fortunately, they are no longer confined to Muslims. Many fair-minded non-Muslims also participate in these rallies because they see grievous injustice being inflicted on the Palestinian people. This intolerable situation has gone on for decades and must be brought to an end.
A point about zionism and zionists is also in order. Zionism is a racist ideology that believes in the supremacy of the Jewish people. Many leading rabbis have uttered scandalously racist statements about non-Jews. Further, since zionism is an ideology, zionists are not just the Jewish people but anyone—Christian, Muslim or Hindu—who believes in this racist ideology is a zionist. In fact, there are many Jewish people that categorically reject zionism and openly declare their opposition to it. Joe Biden, a supposed Catholic, is a rabid zionist! So are many Arabian rulers.
Why is the threat to Masjid al Aqsa so real, especially today? Zionist fanatics backed by equally fanatical Christian fundamentalists want to destroy the sacred Al-Aqsa sanctuary to build the mythical third temple there. It is quite revealing that the Christian fanatics, most of whom reside in the US, believe that unless all the Jews are assembled in Palestine, the Messiah will not return. And when he returns, he will kill all of them!
The zionists are quite happy with this interpretation peddled by Christian fundamentalists as long as they funnel billions of dollars annually to the bottomless pit called Israel. This money is used by the illegal zionist squatters and the Israeli occupation army to kill and maim Palestinians. Palestinian land is also being stolen at an alarming rate. Since the beginning of this year, the number of Palestinian casualties has skyrocketed.
The US is an accomplice in these Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians. The US protects Israel from international condemnation at such forums as the UN Security Council; it arms the zionist fanatics and not only gives direct handouts of $3.8 billion annually but also facilitates the theft of billions more through charities and other front organizations. Last month when the Silicon Valley Bank collapsed in the US, it was revealed that it had funneled billions of dollars to companies in Israel.
This reveals a vast web in which American politicians of all stripes are involved in financing the murder of Palestinians by the Israeli occupation army. American politicians are more concerned about the well-being of Israelis than the plight of the American people of whom at least 40 million live in absolute poverty.
The reason is that the pro-Israel lobby has a stranglehold on the US political system. The lobby operates outside the purview of the law. The prime example is the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). It is not registered as an agent of a foreign entity, a privilege afforded to no other lobby group. Thus, AIPAC operates illegally yet every American politician rushes to its annual convention to pledge allegiance—wait for it—not to the US but to Israel.
This brings us to the question of Quds Day rallies that are planned for most major cities in the Muslim world as well as in Africa, Europe and North America this year. Pretoria and Cape Town in South Africa and Zaria and Kaduna in Nigeria as well as Dar-es Salam in Tanzania are important places in Africa where major rallies are held. In North America, Toronto has the honour of hosting the largest Quds Day rally by far of any city. Large rallies are also organized in New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles. In Britain, the London Quds Day rally attracts very large crowds.
The huge Quds Day rallies worldwide give a severe heartburn to pro-Israel groups. They have attempted to have these rallies banned and some cowardly politicians have even talked about doing so, but under the laws of these countries, it is not possible. Zionist fanatics have attacked peaceful participants at Quds Day rallies.
By such brutal tactics, the zionists merely expose their own criminal nature. It also makes clear to people not familiar with the struggle of the Palestinian people that if they can act so violently in societies where there are some laws against such conduct, what the zionists must be doing to the Palestinians under occupation.
It is imperative for all peace and justice-loving people of all faiths and backgrounds to participate in Quds Day rallies. Once liberated, all people — Muslims, Christians and Jews — can live in peace and harmony with each other in the Holy Land.