International Quds Day is an annual event during which demonstrators express their solidarity with the Palestinian people and opposition to the occupation of Palestinian territories by the Zionist regime of Israel.
The annual event, held on Friday, April 29, coinciding with the last Friday Ramadan 1443 AH was initiated by the late leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini in 1979.
Iranians held rallies in 900 cities and towns on Friday, April 29 to mark the annual International Quds Day after a two-year hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
In commemoration of the day, Muslim News Nigeria in an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr. Mohammad Alibak speaks on the significance of the day and the Iranian government’s effort in supporting the Palestinian cause.
Excerpts from the interview >>>
MN: Today is International Quds Day. Iran is at the forefront of championing this event. Why is Quds important to Iranians?
The Late Imam Khomeini designated every last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as the International Quds Day in order to open a new phase of solidarity with Palestinians and invite Muslims and freedom-loving nations to be vigilant in the face of Zionism and global arrogance.
Alibak: Muslims and freedom-seeking nations hold ceremonies, rituals and demonstrations in order to support the rights of Palestinians to rule their own ancient country and decide their own fate as well as the Palestinian refugees’ rights to come back to their homeland.
The participants of the demonstration want to reveal the criminal nature of the fake regime and underline that the Zionist regime is the main and common enemy of Muslim nations and the whole of humanity.
MN:’What is the significance of the Quds Day?
The Quds Day is a unique manifestation of unity among Muslims and all the world’s freedom seekers in expressing support for Palestine and disgust for the usurper Zionist. It also illustrates an unparalleled portrayal of unity among the people of the world to condemn the atrocities and occupation of the Zionist regime and abhor the racist and inhuman nature of the Zionist. The Quds Day also symbolizes resistance. Undoubtedly, the establishment of the illegitimate and forged Zionist entity has become the prime element of instability and insecurity in West Asia since 1948.
The tyrannized and resilient people of Palestine have risen up with the support of the Muslims and free people of the world, with a chain of Palestinian intifadas, against this massive oppression by the Zionist regime and have frustrated and depressed this forged entity.
The international support for the cause of Palestine have strengthened the might of resistance in the region. The Palestinian resistance groups have increased their rocket power as a deterrent tool to stop Zionists expansionist policy.
The resistance of the Palestinians has become a source of concern for Israel given the coincidence of the Quds Day and the Day of Nakba, which falls on May 15.
MN: What are the gains of this movement if any?
Alibak: During these years, the issue of Palestine has transformed into the main issue of the Muslim world, at least for three reasons. First, the complexion of the Palestinian land, its sanctity and status among the followers of Islam. Second, the nature of the hostility of Zionists, their religious and historical claims, and their expansionist and occupationist spirit. Third, the nature of Western-Zionist coalition which pursues to weaken the Muslim Ummah and generate dissension and split between the Muslims with the hope that Muslim states remain dependent and reliant on the big powers.
The Zionist regime is considered as the violator of fundamental rights including the right to self-determination of Palestinians and the main element of permanent insecurity in the region. There are many reasons to believe so; the Zionist regime breaches international law and regulations as well as human rights and takes mad actions such as imposing collective punishment, blockading Gaza, completing the West Bank separation wall, and evicting and displacing more than 5.7 million Palestinians; the Zionist regime assassinates Palestinian and other Arab and Muslim commanders and soldiers, destroys Palestinian houses and farmlands, Judaizes Al-Quds, promotes and continues settlement constructions in occupied territories; Zionists enforce curfew on the Palestinian citizens of Al-Quds and revoke the identification and permanent residence cards of Palestinians (in violation of international rules and agreements, especially Article 43 of the Hague Convention and the Fourth Geneva Convention). Moreover, the Zionist regime adopted the nation-state of the Jewish people bill in Knesset in 2018 and is separating the Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza.
MN:: A lot of people believe Muslims are not doing enough to help the Palestinians. Tell us your take on this?
The Zionist regime is regarded as the main source of insecurity and threat to regional and international peace and stability. This represents the biggest violator of human rights in the world.
While the criminal and occupation-oriented logic of the kid-killer Zionist regime in the past seven decades has produced nothing but the continuation of occupation, murder, racism and dissension in the region, we regretfully are witnessing that a number of Muslim states have closed their eyes on the persistent crimes of the Zionist regime and have fallen into the trap of the Western-Zionist axis and have committed a historical but reversible and amendable mistake. Unfortunately, normalization of relations of some Arab and Muslim states with the Quds-occupying regime has emboldened the Zionists to expand their hostility. The recent desecration and atrocities of the Zionists in Al-Aqsa Mosque testify to such emboldening. The satanic Western-Zionist conspiracy aims to hatch differences among the Muslims and has undoubtedly targeted the unity and solidarity of the Muslim world in supporting Palestine.
MN: What is Iran doing to support the Palestinians beyond commemorating this Day?
Alibak: The Islamic Republic of Iran would spare no efforts, like in the past, in supporting the legitimate and usurped rights of the Palestinian nation. On the basis of the political and democratic plan registered by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Secretariat of the United Nations, the settlement of the issue of Palestine would be possible only through ending occupation and holding a referendum with the presence of the main inhabitants of the land of Palestine and all refugees to determine their own destiny. The return of Palestinian refugees to their motherland and holding a national referendum among the original people of this land to shape their destiny and the type of political system is the most effective solution to resolve this crisis. Based on this proposal, Muslims, Jews and Christians of Palestinian descent should be able to choose the type of legal system that is going to govern their destiny and benefit from its rights freely and equally. This plan, which has been presented based on the principles of democracy and international law as recognized by all governments and nations, could definitely replace the previous failed schemes.
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