By: Mir M.Hosseini
On Aug, 7, 1979, Imam Khomeini invited the Muslims around the globe to march in solidarity with Palestinians on the last Friday of Ramazan. Khomeini declared the liberation of Jerusalem a religious duty to all Muslims.
Khomeini was quoted: Quds Day is an international day, it is not a day devoted to Quds alone. It is the day for the weak and oppressed to confront the arrogant powers, the day for those nations suffering under the pressure of American oppression and oppression by other powers to confront the superpowers; it is the day when the oppressed should arm themselves against the oppressors and rub their noses in the dirt; it is the day when the hypocrites will be distinguished from the true believers.
Quds Day is also commemorated in several countries in the Arab and Muslim world with protests against the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem.
Quds Day demonstrations spread out throughout the world and became the scene of anti-American slogans in Persian Gulf nations. The first martyr of Al Quds Day was Mohammad Jomeh Alshakori from Bahrain who was severely injured by Bahrain security forces in Manama on April, 5, 2002 and died two days later at the age of 24.
Quds day is also marked throughout Muslim and Arab countries. During the First Intifada in January 1988, the Jerusalem Committee of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference decided that Quds Day should be commemorated in public events throughout the Arab world. In countries with significant Shia populations, particularly Lebanon where Hezbollah organizes Quds Day events, there is significant attendance. Events are also held in Iraq, the Palestinian Gaza Strip, and Syria. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine endorse Quds Day, and hold ceremonies. Outside of the Middle East and the wider Arab World, Quds Day protests have taken place in the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Sweden, France, the United States, and some predominantly Muslim countries in East Asia. There have been traditional gatherings in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Kashmir, and Indonesia every year.
On the first Qods Day demonstrations in Iran, on Friday, Aug, 17, 1979, millions of Iranians filled the streets. 33 years after the Quds Day initiative, the Quds Day in 2012 happened on Aug, 17th again while millions of Iranians in 500 cities showed their continuous support for Palestinians against the racist Zionist regime. Most Iranians consider Israel as a regime of apartheid systematically assimilating Palestinians.