Ayatollah Khamenei’s perspective on Quds Day: ‘Empowering Palestinian Cause’

IRAN – The Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, has consistently highlighted the importance of unity among Muslims in supporting Palestine in his addresses on the International Quds Day.

An annual event initiated by Imam Khomeini (RA), International Quds Day (last Friday of Ramadan, this year falling on April 5) continues to serve as a powerful reminder of the collective responsibility of Muslims worldwide to stand in solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine. The occasion, which stimulates millions of Muslims, underscores the enduring commitment to justice and liberation for Palestine.

Ayatollah Khamenei has been an advocate for the Palestinian cause, condemning the Zionist regime’s occupation of Palestine, and attributing its establishment to the interests of Western powers in the region.

Central to the Leader’s vision for Quds Day is the promotion of Jihad and self-reliance in the struggle for Palestinian liberation. He has called for a referendum in Palestine to determine its future, emphasizing the restoration of Palestinian rights and the rejection of Zionism.

In his address on Quds Day in 2022, Ayatollah Khamenei praised the resilience of the Palestinian people and condemned the Zionist regime’s occupation of Jerusalem. He highlighted the emergence of new dynamics in Palestine, where the Palestinians’ “invincible will” has begun to overshadow the Zionist’s so-called “invincible military.” Khamenei cited the United States’ successive defeats and internal rifts as signs of a shifting geopolitical landscape, noting the challenges facing the Zionist regime.

Furthermore, the Leader applauded the spread of resistance movements across Palestine, from Jenin to Gaza, and stressed the annulment of normalization plans with the Zionist enemy. He criticized Western powers for their complicity in Zionist crimes and emphasized the need for reliance on resistance to address issues in the Islamic world. He reaffirmed Iran’s support for the Palestinian Resistance Front and condemned Arab governments’ normalization with the Zionist regime.

“It was the existence of the resistance that cleansed the occupied parts of Lebanon from the Zionists, pulled Iraq out of the throat of the United States and saved it from ISIS, helped the Syrian defenders against U.S. plans, and fought international terrorism. It is aiding the resilient people of Yemen in the war that has been imposed on them; it will bring the Zionist usurpers to their knees by hand-to-hand combat through divine success and makes the issue of Quds and Palestine more prominent in the world public opinion through effort and struggle,” he stressed.

In his speech on the occasion of the International Quds Day in 2021, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the change in the balance of power in favor of the Islamic world and Palestine, and emphasized: “I tell you with confidence: The downward movement of the Zionist regime has started and it will not stop.”

According to the Leader, the issue of Palestine continues to be the most important and active issue for the Islamic Ummah collectively. “The policies of the oppressive and cruel capitalism have driven a people out of their homes, their homeland and their ancestral roots and instead, it has installed a terrorist regime and has housed a foreign people therein,” he noted.

“Since the first day, the Zionists turned the usurped Palestine into a terrorist base. Israel is not a country, rather it is a terrorist camp against the Palestinian nation and other Muslim nations. Fighting against this despotic regime is fighting against oppression and terrorism. And this is a collective responsibility,” Ayatollah Khamenei underlined.

He believes that cooperation between Muslim countries should be a main and fundamental goal and this does not seem unlikely. The pivot around which this cooperation turns is the issue of Palestine–the entirety of that country–and the fate of Holy Quds.

“Cooperation between Muslims around the pivot of Holy Quds is an absolute nightmare for the Zionists and for their American and European advocates. The failed project called ‘The Deal of the Century’ and the effort to normalize the relations between a few weak Arab governments and the Zionist regime were desperate attempts to run away from that nightmare,” the Leader stated.

“There are two determining factors in the future: First and foremost is the continued activities of resistance in the Palestinian lands and the strengthening of the line of jihad and martyrdom and second, global support on the part of governments and Muslim nations throughout the world for the Palestinian mujahids,” he further added.

At the heart of Quds Day is the recognition of the suffering endured by Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. These courageous individuals represent the hope for Palestine’s freedom. It is incumbent upon the Muslim Ummah to stand steadfastly beside them, ensuring they feel supported and empowered in their resistance against oppression. Quds Day serves as a beacon of hope for Palestinians, reminding them that they are not alone in their struggle for freedom and dignity.

The commemoration of International Quds Day is not limited to Iran but extends across the Muslim world, with Muslims from diverse backgrounds coming together to express their solidarity with Palestine. Despite attempts by global powers to suppress Quds Day demonstrations, Muslims continue to assert their right to voice support for Palestine.

In 1980, not long after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini declared the last Friday of Ramadan as Quds Day as a sign of Muslim unity against Israel and in support of the Palestinian people. This was the first time that a special day for the liberation of Palestine was celebrated internationally.

Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, the city considered holy by Christians, Muslims and Jews. The choice of Quds, one of the three holiest sites in Islam, is due to its symbolization of Palestinian unity.

Since this declaration, Quds Day has been marked with rallies and speeches by Muslims around the world, who gather after Friday prayers at the symbols of Zionist occupation in their respective countries.

This year, Al-Quds Day falls on April 5, and is likely to attract even more attention in view of the current Israeli atrocities in the Gaza Strip, in which more than 37,000 people have been killed in about six months, the overwhelming majority of them civilians, women and children, as confirmed by UN organizations.

But even before the Israeli genocide in Gaza began last October, there were growing numbers of demonstrators in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Africa marking Quds Day, with Muslims usually protesting after Friday prayers to draw attention to the ongoing occupation of Jerusalem. Today, Al-Quds Day rallies have become a global phenomenon.  (TEHRAN TIMES)

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