Quds Day - History

History

The annual anti-Zionist day of protest was conceived originally by the leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. In August 1979, the year of the Revolution, in solidarity with the Palestinians, Khomeini declared the liberation of Jerusalem a religious duty to all Muslims. He stated:

I invite Muslims all over the globe to consecrate the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Al-Quds Day and to proclaim the international solidarity of Muslims in support of the legitimate rights of the Muslim people of Palestine. For many years, I have been notifying the Muslims of the danger posed by the usurper Israel which today has intensified its savage attacks against the Palestinian brothers and sisters, and which, in the south of Lebanon in particular, is continually bombing Palestinian homes in the hope of crushing the Palestinian struggle. I ask all the Muslims of the world and the Muslim governments to join together to sever the hand of this usurper and its supporters. I call on all the Muslims of the world to select as Al-Quds Day the last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan - which is itself a determining period and can also be the determiner of the Palestinian people’s fate - and through a ceremony demonstrating the solidarity of Muslims world-wide, announce their support for the legitimate rights of the Muslim people. I ask God Almighty for the victory of the Muslims over the infidels. —Ayatollah Khomeini

The 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 Shi'a 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.

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