Jerusalem Day in Moscow
The last Friday of the sacred Muslim month of Ramadan is marked as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestine People initiated by the Iranian ayatollah Khomeini. The various countries hold arrangements which are aimed at drawing attention of the society to humanitarian problems of the center of three world religions and contributing to the Palestine problem’s settlement.
Radzhab Safarov, general director of the Contemporary Iran Study Center
When in 1979 the spiritual leader of Iran imam Khomeini suggested making the last Friday of the sacred month of Ramadan the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Peoples – Quds Day – some people didn’t understand the idea. Some were surprised. But some people began to understand that it was philosophy of the Islamic Republic – justice. And justice is violated in Quds, in Palestine outrageously. That is why it becomes a more important factor of international politics day after day. Many peoples and various countries are involved in the process. And every year this day becomes a day when people try themselves: whether they understand ideas of justice adequately or not.
Shamil Sultanov, president of the strategic research center “Russia-Muslim World”
When the great ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran, announced a sacred duty of all Muslims to mark the day on the last Friday of Ramadan, one of his objectives was to make people estimate themselves, estimate their attitude to this problem and try their inner value guidelines with Quds, Jerusalem. When I remember this day, Jerusalem Day, I recall and admire with the great Palestinian peoples who have been fighting for many decades in unbearable conditions against the world hegemony, against the world imperialism, against the West, against the US, and against Zionism. Let’s be honest, history has seen many examples when many nationalities failed completely, when they didn’t resist, when they stopped resisting and lost their identity. Unfortunately it concerns a series of nationalities in our country, when cultural expansion, value expansion led to actual transformation of nationalities. Palestine is another case. The Palestine peoples improve and strengthen their self-identification despite difficult conditions of the struggle. The Palestinian peoples today is much more a united nationality than 60-70 years ago.
Heydar Jemal, representative of the Islamic Committee of Russia
The problem of Jerusalem and the problem of Palestine are at the focus of the world history. It is a key problem. Attitudes towards Palestine and Jerusalem are an acid test for every politician and political movement. Today the world sees polarization of two macro-camps. On the one hand there is an impudent international bureaucracy connected with intergovernmental, supra-governmental, and especially non-governmental structures which strives for playing the leading role in decision-making. On the other hand, there is the national struggle for independence of states and territories. But they are not the only forces. Even though these two forces play the main role in the international arena, there is the third force which is called “Islamic revival.” This is political Islam which claimed its appearance on Tahrir Square. Of course there were precursors before, but the beginning of the Islamic revival was set by the Islamic revolution in Iran in February 1979. And the revolution is the pattern, the engine, the dynamic which launched the mechanisms of Islamic revival for both Sunnis and Shiahs. Jerusalem is a key point, and the Palestinian people and the problem of Palestine are the key problem which is an index of how truthful and adequate the Islamic forces which claim to participate in this huge fatal process of Islamic revival are.
Mikhail Shevchenko, member of the Public Chamber of Russia
This Quds Day, the Day of Solidity with the Peoples of Palestine, the day when we talk, think, pray of freeing Jerusalem from occupation and oppression. This is the day when every person should relate himself to this problem, this day. It is like an acid test – it tests political views and political positions. It cuts out demagogy and empty rhetoric from the real position and real support of the Palestinian people. I have just visited the country which promotes Palestine to members of the UN, Norway, which is still shocked by the outrageous mass killing committed by insane, as some people say, neo-Nazi, others say supported by some forces in the West Mr. Breivik. He justifies his deeds. I remind you that he shot the youth camp who supported Palestine. Many activists of pro-Palestinian movement were killed; dozens of young people. Their Palestinian brothers died as well. There were Muslims from Russia: Chechens, residents of the Caucasus, someone was killed, the other was injured heavily. Breivik’s behavior is not a behavior of an isolated person. Breivik’s activity is a planned terrorist attack of the Western liberal world against traditional values of people. Breivik and the Western system of values, the Western oppression system attacked not the camp of young internationalists who supported the Palestinian movement, but attacked Islam. And Breivik states on it. He attacks the political vision which enables Palestinians to resist. Of course not only Muslims fight within the Palestinian movement. Orthodox Christians who are a minority in the Palestinian movement have been the leaders of the struggle for many years. We will not forget the name of George Habash. We will never forget names of the Palestinian community’s members who took part in this struggle.
Seyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjad, Iranian ambassador in Moscow
Jerusalem Day is a battle against violence in general, a movement against a one-sided approach. The day is against geographic changes of the world map by military means. Today we see what happens in Syria. We see that the Western countries use the identical forms in Syria which they used previously in Palestine – violence. I urge Russian population together with Iranian population and Muslims all over the world to appreciate this day and stand against the one-sided approach of the Western countries, against violence. Unfortunately, we see these phenomena in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria in the 21st century.
Vafik Al Shayer, chairman of the Center of Palestinian Culture in Moscow
Jerusalem needs support very much, as it suffers from barbarian attempts of changing its historic and religious image. Events which happened in the past two years in the Middle East and the Arab world are connected with some plans touching on the fate of Jerusalem, as efforts of the American administration on establishing of the mono-polar world will definitely touch on Jerusalem’s fate. We all witness statements by American top officials toward the status of Jerusalem. The mono-polar American world is the biggest disaster for the whole planet. We as Arabs feel it. Examples of destructions and victims in Iraq, Libya, Syria and long misery of the Palestinian people confirm it. The world should be multi-polar where interests of all religious and political movements would be followed. It is a salvation of sacred Jerusalem.
Vitaly Naumkin, head of the Oriental Sciences Institute
The events in the Middle East intercept the Palestinian-Israeli conflict from the eyes. Many people have an illusion that this problem might be postponed, that it has lost its relevance due to Arab spring and developments in Syria, Iran and that some forces might solve their problems using the situation. It is absolutely not true. Any hesitation in finding the right settlement of this problem is equal to death. The world has almost no places where occupation of land is taking place. The occupation of the city, a part of the city which is a sacred place for great Abraham religions seems unacceptable for our modern life. A rapid change of character, demographic situation and character of territories is taking place. Unfortunately, construction of residential areas continues. And it worries us. Many analysts believe that in several years there will be no space for establishing the Palestinian state with the capital in Eastern Jerusalem, as the international law and the resolution of the UN SC demand. Something has to be done quickly. The world does too little for it. We all apply insufficient amount of efforts.