Current Affairs, Middle East

Palestinians Are Being Oppressed: What Are You Doing?

Whether you are keen on foreign news or not, one can never run away from the despicable stories of the oppressed people of Palestine or argue that the news has never crossed their news bars, newspaper headlines, or now the emerging conventional social media timelines. The news ranges from detention, torture, cold-blooded murder, to unprovoked attacks by the Israeli security operatives on unarmed civilians, majorly the vulnerableย โ€”ย women and children.

On March 30th, the Palestinians launched a protest tagged ‘March of Return’, which was a move among series of efforts to press for the demand of their usurped land to end the inhumane treatment by the Israeli regime against them. The protests which culminated on May 15th that coincided with America’s Donald Trump ill-informed decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. A decision that, pundits maintain, would be rejected even in a world gone mad.

Out of sheer and vicious cruelty, Israeli snipers shot about 110 Palestinians including children, journalists, and medical personnel. The number of injured persons skyrocketed from 2,771 to about 12,000 between March 30th to May 15th.

While American diplomats, evangelists, and cronies were celebrating the embassy shift, the oppressed people of Palestine were burying their dead ones and attending to the injured ones. Surgeries were even carried on without anesthesia, courtesy of dwindling medical supplies. Just imagine a bullet being removed from one’s body without any anesthesia!

This has been the norm in occupied Palestine because, in May, the Palestinians still commemorated the 70th Nakbah anniversary – which means the day of catastrophe. The Nakbah was set aside to remember the ethnic cleansing perpetrated against the Palestinians exactly seven decades ago.

This remains the lone reason why the pioneer of the Iranian Islamic revolution, late Ayatollah Khomeini in 1980, a year after the 1979 revolution, set aside the last Friday of every Ramadan to mark the International Quds day to denounce Israel’s barbarism and show solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians. The late revolutionary said,

“The issue of Quds is not a private or personal issue. It is neither the exclusive problem of one country nor a present-day problem of all Muslims. Rather, it is a phenomenon concerning the monotheists and faithful people of all ages โ€” past, present, and future.โ€

In 1988, the Organization of Islamic Countries endorsed the idea of Ayatollah Khomeini. Since then, the International Quds day has been recording massive turnouts with people of conscience devoid of their religious and ethnic affiliation participating annually. Turnouts in countries like Malaysia, Austria, Nigeria, South Africa, Pakistan, Britain, Canada, and the US have been captivating. In 2014 alone, the International Quds day was marked in 22 Nigerian cities, which is increasing yearly.

Another indication that myriad is heeding Imam Khomeini’s call to liberate the first Muslim qiblah, Masjid al-Aqsa (one of the three revered Mosques in Islam) and the locus of Prophet Muhammad’s ascension to the heavens in the Night Journey, popularly known as al-Isra wa al-Mi’iraj among Muslims.

This call has echoed on the ears of Muslims, Christians, and Jews who understand that Israel is ostensibly a Zionist state with no religious underpinnings. This is the reason why even Jewish Rabbis join the pro-Palestinian rallies around the world and have gone the extra mile to launch a campaign tagged “Not In My Name”, although, this is being drowned by the propaganda of Israel. Just last month, Jewish Rabbi Dovid Weiss delivered a paper on the illegal occupation of al-Quds at the New Horizon Conference in Mashhad, Iran.

Present at the conference were Russian Philosopher Alexander Dugin, Allison Weir of IfAmericansKnew.org, ex-CIA officer Phillip Giraldi, Israeli-born anti-Zionist Miko Peled, French researcher and writer Maria Poumier, and British Journalist, sister-in-law to Tony Blair, Lauren Booth who converted to Islam in 2010 after visiting the Holy city of Qom.

It is important to deconstruct the idea of complacency. There is no room for neutrality. One must be supporting the oppressed or their oppressors. Moreover, nobody should be fooled by mainstream media headlines using words like crisis or conflict or speaking about a ‘Two-State Solution’. It’s offensive against the downtrodden people of Palestine, and should leave every person with a conscience agitated.

Sequel to Imam Khomeini’s declaration, it is pertinent to understand that protesting for the people of Palestine doubles as an avenue to stand in solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians and all the oppressed people around the globe. The plight of the people of Yemen, Syria, Myanmar, Bahrain, Kashmir, etc. should be identified with. It is also important to demand the release of the champion of the Palestinian cause in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky who has been under illegal detention since December 2015 and every person illegally detained.

Mahdi Garba is a Nigerian journalist, human rights activist, social commentator and writer. He covers the activities of the Nigeria's Islamic movement for Rasa News Agency, Iran. He is working on his forthcoming book 'Tears of 12 December' a memoir on the Zaria massacre.

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