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Imam Khomeini, Al-Quds And Palestine

As Muslims in Iran and committed Muslims elsewhere commemorate June 3 as the thirty-fifth anniversary of Imam Khomeini’s passing away, they also remain deeply troubled by events in Gaza, Masjid al-Aqsa and Palestine. Even many non-Muslims have also recoiled in horror at the zionist-perpetrated genocide against the defenceless civilian population in Gaza. The worldwide student protest movements are reflective of this concern.

Nearly 36,000 innocent people, the overwhelming majority of them women and children, have been brutally murdered by the zionist war criminals. Hospital, schools, colleges, universities, libraries and people’s homes have been bombed and destroyed.

Zionism has been exposed as an evil ideology. Its followers can no longer hide behind the canard of anti-semitism any time Israeli crimes are exposed. Killing innocent people is evil, regardless of what spin is put on it.

The late Imam is best known—and rightly so—for bringing about the Islamic revolution to overthrow the US puppet regime of the Shah. After the victory of the Islamic revolution, one of the first acts of the Imam was to cut off diplomatic relations with the two apartheid regimes in the world: South Africa and zionist Israel.

The embassy and other properties of the zionist entity were handed over to the Palestinians. Yasir Arafat, who was leader of the PLO at the time, became the first foreign movement leader to be welcomed in Tehran.

Unfortunately, he proved to be a great disappointment. His inability to break from dependence on the west and the puppet Arab regimes led him into a blind alley and total surrender to the zionists.

The Imam’s understanding of imperialism and zionism was very clear. Both ideologies were the enemies of humanity and had to be confronted and defeated. The zionist regime in Occupied Palestine was illegal, declared the Imam unequivocally. He urged Muslims and people of conscience everywhere to rise up against this usurper regime.

Towards this end, the Imam declared, in August 1979, that the last Friday of Ramadan must be observed as Yaum al-Quds (Day of Quds). He urged people to hold rallies wherever they are to draw attention to the illegal zionist occupation of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the Holy Land (Palestine).

The Imam did not appeal to the Palestinians to rise up on the basis of Palestinian or Arab nationalism. He was clear that nationalism is the very antithesis of Islam. Muslims will be able to liberate al-Quds and Palestine if their struggle is rooted in the principles of Islam. That is why the choice of the month of Ramadan to hold Quds Day rallies was significant.

Ramadan is the month of struggle. It was in this month that the early Muslims fought their first battle at Badr, culminating in a resounding victory. It was also in Ramadan that Makkah was liberated from the clutches of the mushrikeen. It was, therefore, highly appropriate that Imam Khomeini should place the symbol of the struggle for the liberation of Palestine and al-Quds in this month.

Since Yaum al-Quds was first proclaimed, Muslims and people of conscience have observed this day, drawing attention to the sacrilege of zionist vandalism and desecration of the Muslims’ first qibla. It has also drawn attention to the continued occupation of Palestine and repression of the Palestinian people. Zionist Israel stands exposed as a western colonial settler outpost by the manner in which western regimes have rushed to its defence so brazenly and shamelessly.

What we are witnessing today in Gaza and the rest of Palestine shows the barbarism of the zionists as well as the resilience of the Islamic resistance that owes its power and strength primarily to the inspiration provided by Imam Khomeini’s thought. His opposition to zionism can be understood only if we realize that he was concerned not just about Iran but the entire Muslim Ummah.

At the heart of this concern was the illegal zionist occupation of Masjid al Aqsa and the holy land of Palestine. These troubled him deeply. He saw it as an affront to the dignity of Muslims and fairness and justice.

The Imam constantly emphasized the importance of Masjid al Aqsa and its liberation as a sacred duty. The Islamic Republic of Iran itself has made enormous sacrifices facing aggression, internal sabotage and vicious sanctions from the collective west in pursuit of fulfilling this noble mission.

The emergence of such Islamic resistance movements as Hizbullah in Lebanon, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine and Ansar-Allah in Yemen as well as Iraq and Syria are the direct result of Islamic Iran’s efforts.

Referred to as the ‘Resistance Front’, the emergence of this bloc has given enormous confidence to these movements that work in support of each other. It has brought the day of the liberation of Al-Quds closer, in sha Allah.

The Imam may have joined heavenly company but his legacy lives on. It is now for the rest of the Ummah to join this struggle for true independence to liberate Al-Quds and Palestine from the clutches of the cruel and inhumane zionists.

There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that zionist ideology is destined to the dustbin of history. Its practitioners, currently strutting about the earth with arrogance and spewing hate-filled vitriol, will soon face divine justice in this world and the world to come

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY: CRESCENT INTERNATIONAL

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