Annually, on the last Friday of Ramadan, people from all over the world gather to take part in Quds Day. Also known as the International Day of Al-Quds, it is held in capital cities all over the world to mark solidarity against oppression.

Imam al-Khomeini suggested the idea in 1979, stating:

"I invite Muslims all over the globe to consecrate the last Friday of the Holy Month of Ramadan as Quds Day, and to proclaim the international solidarity of Muslims in support of the legimitate rights of the Muslim people of Palestine."

"We invite all the oppressed of the world to join the Party of the Oppressed and solve their problems together with a firm determination and a common will, and through this party, remove any problem which arises anywhere in the world and for any nation."

What I find most beautiful about Quds Day is not that people have gathered to discuss the Palestine question (which is a routine occurrence, bringing about little positive action, and often, resulting in dejected hopelessness & negativity).

What I love is that the event is not limited to us over-emotional Muslims with our straggly beards. You will find straggly-bearded, black-hatted Jews as well. Anti-Zionist Jews, carrying signs printed "World Jewry condemns Zionist atrocities the world over"; "STOP the Zionist massacre and the persecution of Palestinians"; etc.

On the 2001 Quds Day in London, Rabbi Goldstein announced that,

"Judaism stands completely opposed to Zionism
Zionism although founded by people of Jewish birth
does not make it a Jewish conception,
communism was also founded by people of Jewish birth
but it is not a Jewish conception,
and Zionism is no more Jewish than communism...
We pray daily for the dismantlement of the zionist state (Israel)."

The presence of Jews at such rallies is significant for at least three reasons:

  1. It proves that Jews do not deny Israel's humanitarian crimes. The misconception that they have/do is a major reason for the general frustration & anger that many Muslims may have towards Jews.
  2. It underlines the difference between "Jews" & "Palestinian massacre" without a shred of doubt, distinguishing anti-semitism from anti-Zionism. Because of the support of the Jewish community at Quds Day, people learn not to equate the Israeli government's decades of oh-so-compassionate decisions with the Jewish people.
  3. The above two points clear the obstacles towards unity & understanding & maybe, eventually, peace. The issue transforms from a political/religious agenda, to a humanitarian cause, completely.

Quds Day establishes a basis from which to accomplish real freedom from strife. {In my opinion, often the problems with so-called peace conferences on the topic of Palestine is that political supporters of Israel dodge the reality, thus impeding progress.}

Quds Day is anti-terrorism, but all for action. It acknowledges war crimes, it acknowledges the mounting murders of Palestinian men, women, and children, ever since the formation of Israel. It acknowledges the deaths of UN officials in the "Quds" zone. It publicly condemns all of this. And it is all for the non-violent struggle towards real peace.

Wishful thinking? Perhaps. I like it anyway.

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