There has been a lot of disinformation about Al-Quds Day in recent years with Zionists trying their best to discourage people from attending. Here we try and cut through the hasbra so that you can be better informed in deciding if its an event you wish to support.
"Al-Quds Day :
In defence of Palestine"
1. What is Al Quds Day?
Itís a day when people around the world, Muslims and non-Muslims come together to demonstrate their support for the oppressed in the world, in particular the oppressed Palestinians who have been living under zionist occupation for over 60 years.
It was 31 years ago on 16th August 1979, on the first Ramadan after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, that Imam Khomeini inaugurated Al-Quds Day, the last friday of Ramadan, as a day for solidarity with the oppressed in the world, in particular the oppressed of Palestine. He said: "Al Quds Day is the day for the weak and oppressed to confront the arrogant powers". Every year since that day, without exception, we have seen Al Quds Day demonstrations all around the world.
Al Quds Day is the oldest annual international protest in support of Palestine. And these aren't just hollow words, what other event in the calendar brings people in Cuba, Nigeria, Britain, South Africa, China and Indonesia together in solidarity with the Palestinians? There is none, other than Al-Quds Day. It uniquely bridges the North-South, East-West divide for the Palestinian cause.
Other important days of solidarity with Palestine include Land Day (inaugurated in 1988) and Nakba Day (inaugurated in 1998)
2. Isn't it about Iran?
Al-Quds day is not a rally to show support for Iran. Imam Khomeini was opposed to nationalism, and made it emphatically clear that Al-Quds day is to show solidarity and support for the oppressed in the world, in particular the Palestinians. Its not an Iranian event, on many occasions the rallies held outside of Iran - like in Nigeria where over a million people attended the rally in Kaduna - have been much larger than those held in Iran. The placards used in last years London rally also reflect this, focusing solely on Palestine.
Placards from 2009 Al-Quds Day
3. Isn't it a Shia event?
Al-Quds day is not a Shia gathering, its strictly non-sectarian. Whist no studies have been carried out, as it would run counter to the spirit of unity that embodies Al-Quds Day, when we look at the rallies held around the world on Al-Quds day from South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Palestine to Indonesia, then consider the demographic breakdown of schools of thought in Islam its probably true that more Sunnis than Shias participate in Al Quds Day. This is also reflected in the list of speakers addressing this years London rally and the organisations giving their support to it.
Al-Quds Day rally in Gaza October 20, 2006
4. Surely its just for Muslims?
Whilst it is true that Al-Quds day is largely organised by Muslims, hence its specific targeting by islamophobic and racist groups like the SIOE, EDL, and BNP, but the reality is that Al-Quds day is for everyone who oppose oppression. It would have been very easy for the leader of the first Islamic Revolution to have announced Al-Quds day as a day of solidarity with the oppressed Muslims of the world, but Imam Khomeini didn't say that, his vision was always Islamic and hence global, inclusive of all mankind, that's why he said 'all oppressed people in the world'. This inclusive character of Al-Quds Day has always been reflected in the London event both amongst the supporting organisations (Stop the War, 1990 Trust, etc.), and the speakers addressing the rally as well as those attending it. Al-Quds Day belongs to everyone who cares to stand for the oppressed. In recent years progressive countries like Cuba and Venezuela, with no real Muslim populations, have also joined in Al Quds day with academics and government ministers in Cuba taking the lead.
Speakers from previous Quds Day rallies: John Rees (Stop the War Coalition), Les Levidow (Jews Against Zionism), Roland Rance (Jews Against Zionism), Rabbi Cohen (Neturei Karta), George Galloway
5. So who opposes Al Quds Day?
The opposition: racists and zionists(top),
Iranian royalist with Pahlavi flags(bottom)
Al Quds Day, being the oldest annual international protest in support of Palestine, has been a key vehicle for people around the world from countries in Europe to those in Africa to show their support for the Palestinians in a united global event. This has hurt the Zionist regime, and it is actively working to stop the practice of observing Al-Quds Day worldwide.
Students identified as key supporters of Palestine have seen their student unions pressured in to remove Al-Quds Day from their calendars, and there have been calls in several European countries to ban Al-Quds Day. The Zionists have tried to portray Al-Quds Day as an anti-Semitic "kill the Jews" hate fest, but with the abundance of Jews amongst the demonstrators and speakers at the Quds Day rally these lies have failed miserably. They have launched vociferous campaigns of intimidation against those brave Jews to terrorize them in to not supporting Al-Quds Day, this has also failed with wider segments of the anti-Zionist Jewish community every year standing together with Muslims for justice in Palestine.
Many reactionary regimes around the world, especially in Muslim countries, also fear Al-Quds Day because they understand its call for justice goes far beyond Palestine. In the past Al-Quds Day rallies have been attacked by security forces, demonstrators including children have been shot dead (in Nigeria for example).
In recent years in the UK we have seen small counter-demonstrations made up of Zionists and far-right racist islamophobes like the British National Party (BNP), English Defence League (EDL), Stop Islamisation Of Europe (SOIE), March for England (MfE) and United British Alliance (UBA). Small naive elements on the left, who have fallen for the Zionist portrayal of Al Quds Day as a demonstration in support of Iran rather than Palestine or an anti-Semitic event, have also in the past stood with the racists against Al Quds Day. We have also seen the presence of disgruntled Iranian royalists, waving Pahlavi flags, who oppose the Islamic Revolution and see its support of Palestine as a betrayal of Persia, as a sell-out to Arabs.
Question for you
This year, Al Quds Day in London will be held on Saturday 4th September 2010. Assembling at 2pm in Marble Arch, we will marching at 3pm to the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square for a rally. So will you stand with us in support of Palestine, or will you by your absence give your support to the Zionists?
"You cannot simplify the question of violence.. You look at human history - the American revolution, the civil war, the end of slavery in the United States, the African National Congress, the end of colonialism - by and large these were some combination of popular social uprisings and social movements and non-violent protests AND armed resistance. Now that doesn't mean I'm advocating for any armed action today, I'm not. I'm committed to finding ways of acting and speaking and making people laugh and doing art and disrupting the war machine in other ways, but I think focusing on violence when we have the comfort of being protected by mass of armed violence is not non-violence at all.. if you are pointing to the mass of violence and who's doing the mass of violence in the world today, you have to look to state violence - that's people bombing whole cities from the air.. "