by Iqbal Siddiqui (Perspectives, Crescent International Vol. 37, No. 7, Ramadan, 1429)
The last Friday of Ramadan each year is marked around the world as Yaum al-Quds: the Day of al-Quds. This tradition was begun by Imam Khomeini r.a. shortly after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, as an annual affirmation of the Ummah’s solidarity with the Muslims of Palestine in their struggle for the liberation of al-Quds . This year, there will no doubt be hundreds of demonstrations all over the world in support of the Palestinians and in defence of the zionist threat to the Haram Sharif in al-Quds.
One feature of the Palestine issue is the link it draws between the Muslim peoples and Islamic movements on the one hand, and Muslim governments and other pro-western forces on the other. While virtually all Muslim governments have paid lip-service to supporting the Palestinians in recent years — unable to do anything else for fear of the anger of their own people — Islamic Iran has been virtually the only one to reject the logic opf the ‘peace process’ from its inception in 1993 and give their complete support to Hamas, the Islamic movement that genuinely represents the Palestinians and their aspirations. In this, it has both reflected and given a lead to Islamic movements and Muslims all around the world, who have always recognised the true nature of the zionist-designed ‘peace process’. Iran’s position has been constant: the zionist state has no right to exist and a meaningful peace can only be predicated on justice — ie. the abolition of the zionist state and its replacement by an Islamic Palestinian political entity.
The position has repeatedly been confirmed by the Rahbar of Islamic Iran, Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei, in recent years. Speaking at a rally in Tehran in October 2000, for example, he gave as clear a statement of the Islamic movement’s position as Imam Khomeini might have given himself :
There is no power anywhere in the world capable of extinguishing the aspirations of the Palestinians — or indeed those of the Muslims of the world as a whole — to achieve freedom for Palestine and the return of its people to their homeland. To those who regard the Middle East problem as a critical international issue, and say that the crisis must be resolved, I say that there is only one remedy and there is only one cure. The only possible resolution is to destroy the root and cause of the crisis. What is this root? The zionist state...
This clear position echoes that of the Islamic movement in Palestine itself. Speaking to Crescent International in November 2000, Shaikh Ahmed Yassin said: “Hamas wants that the Palestinian people who have been exiled from their homes be able to return, that the occupation be lifted, and for the Palestinians to be the owners and masters of their own land.”
The harsh reality, however, is that this clear objective remains far from being achieved. Despite its consistent support for the Muslims of Palestine, Islamic Iran cannot get directly involved in fighting the zionist state. At a time when it is under constant attack itself, and is still struggling to consolidate its prototypical Islamic system, such involvement would be both suicidal and pointless: it would only provoke even more vicious attacks on both Iran and Palestine. The Islamic movement in Palestine draws inspiration from the example of Iran, Hizbullah and other Islamic movements, and is showing great courage and determination in its rejection of the peace process despite the zionists’ best efforts, supported by the west; but it remains unable to defeat and dismantle the zionist state. The reason for this is simple: the zionist state is only a part of the global Western civilization’s war on Islam, and it cannot be reversed while the West remains dominant. The Palestinian position is comparable to that of the Chechens: the Chechens inflicted defeat after defeat on the Russian forces in Chechnya, but Russia is so massive that it could just keep sending more and more troops in.
Muslims all over the world will demonstrate on Yaum al-Quds, but as long as Muslim resources and institutions are in the hands of regimes like those in Egypt, ‘Saudi’ Arabia, Turkey,Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia, which are totally beholden to and dependent upon the West, Muslim anger will have little impact in Palestine. The harsh reality is that until Islamic movements succeed in establishing Islamic states committed to confronting Western hegemony at every level, Muslims cannot hope for a solution to the problem of the zionist occupation of al-Quds.