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Small crowd at Al Quds rally in CT

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A small crowd of protesters gathered outside Parliament on Friday calling for an end to the occupation of Palestine. Around the world similar protests were happening as the last Friday of Ramadan is marked as International Al Quds day.  Back in Cape Town the turnout this was significantly less with an estimated crowd of 200 people who showed an unwavering dedication to the freedom of Palestine. Last year almost 5000 people were said to have taken the streets in support of Al Quds Day. Scores of protestors wore keffiyahs, carried Palestinian flags and lifted banners as they reached Parliament.

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“The number of protesters was actually more than I expected. People tend to have short memories and they tend to forget that the occupation is continuous,” Kamil Suleiman from the Action Forum for Palestine explained.

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VOC reporter Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed chats to Kamil Suleiman

The message for both protests was the same however, the speakers as well as the crowd called for an end to the occupation in Palestine. Furthermore, the protest also called for people to boycott local stores that distribute products manufactured in Occupied Palestine and called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.

“We must continue show solidarity, whether it is picketing, whether it is boycotting,” Suleiman added.

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Pro Palestinian activist Dr Clint Le Bruyns addressed the crowd on his experiences as part of the Freedom Flotilla 111, which attempted to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.  Husam Al Housani from the Palestinian embassy expressed his gratitude towards the crowd for showing their support and reiterated that the boycott of companies such as Woolworths should continue.

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The message for the boycott of Woolworths was emphasised by the Action forum for Palestine. Woolworths has been targeted by the South Africa BDS movement as it continues to import and sell products produced in occupied lands on territory that was forcibly taken away from the Palestinian people.

“The international community should make a serious move to stop Israeli aggression and war crime,” Al Housani told the crowd.

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Faldeelah Kenny, a runner with a group called Runners for Palestine, a regular at pro-Palestine marches, said she was disappointed with the number of protesters at this year’s event.

“The march on the 9th of August 2014 had more than 100 000 people. When bombs aren’t falling people think that everything is well in Palestine which is far from the truth,” Kenny said.

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Other countries where the march occurred include Canada and Turkey and people from all walks of life were in attendance. Human rights campaigners agree the situation in Palestine is not about religion but about the violation of human rights.

This day was initiated by Iran to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and today close to a million people attended the rallies in Iran condemning the Israeli government for their actions towards the Palestinian people and at the same time condemning the Saudi Regime for their bombardment of Yemen. VOC (Umarah Hartley)


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12 comments

  1. Glad people realised not to support khomeni and his group .Hope next year even less will attend. Why should we heed the call of khomeni when he don't heed the call of the Nabi (SAW)Shagaaba(Companions)RA. their can be no Barakah in such a march. Opposing their deviant believe is better then the march

    1. Dear Brother,

      Khomeini is dead a long time ago. I accept the khulafa rashidoon so please do not start a senseless argument with me.

      Have you understood what happened at the battle of Uhud. Read your Quran. Who were the people who caused the defeat? Who were the people who ran away? What were their names? Were they not ashaab?

      There are many instances in the Quran when the sahaba of the Prophet are criticised because they were human beings. We, Sunnis criticise the Shias for claiming thei Imams are ma’sum but we treat the sahabas as ma’sum without even thinking that we are contradicting ourselves.

      Now if you want I can help you to understand the Quran on this issue. I do not care what this Imam or Shaykh says. What does the Quran say? Who is it talking about?

      You have many Shias who are narrators of hadeeth in the kutub al-sitta. If you want I can tell you who they are andyou can search for them and ask your sheikh or mawlana.

      Leave Knoemini as he is dead and faces his athaab of the qabr. What do you know? I fear that you do not know much. I return to Allah not with what Khomeini or anyone else says. I return with my own book of deeds. I cannot say ibn Taymiyya or Ahmad ibn Hanbal said this or that.

      So unless you know what the Quran says about the sahabah and who the Shia narrators of Sunni hadeeth are then you have home work to do. You might be so busy that you might not even notice us marching for Quds Day 2016.

      If you want help then reply. Otherwise you will bear responsibility for accusing people of kufr when they are Muslim. So leave Khomeini and go to the Quran but you have to know what you are looking for. You are a brother with a few grey hairs, a koefiya and a thawb do not make a fool of yourself.

  2. your opinion like Zionist ppl unfortunately …why do you think we support non Palestinian ppl in quds day .
    Quds day belongs to our oppressed Muslim brothers in occupied land …don't forget it..
    don't repeat Zionist idea who are trying disunity between Muslims..
    In quds day we support who?
    such a crazy idea you have..

  3. Why I distance myself from Al-Quds day

    Quraysha Ismail Sooliman – Opinion | 02 August 2013

    “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”  Malcolm X

    Having attended the Amec Parliamentary Portfolio Seminar for 2 days in which the issues in the Middle East were covered extensively and with significant transparency, I have decided not to support Al-Quds day which is an Iranian initiated and driven project.

    This is not a decision based on furthering or entrenching sectarian divides but is a decision that requires taking a principled stand against injustice.

    That’s because justice is never negotiable, you either fight FOR it or you oppose it. We cannot be fence- sitters.

    Nor can we be pro this or that, we have to be pro-justice, because loyalties to people, regimes, ideologies and acquaintances are easily bought and traded.

    Since the Iranian revolution, for more than 30yrs the Iranians have made vocal statements against Israel but have not done much more.  Iran claims to be a defender of Islam and Muslims, but has chosen to openly support a vicious dictator and together with Hezbollah has sent its soldiers to Syria to participate in the brutal massacre of civilians; to date more than 120 000 Sunni Muslims have been killed by  Asads and this has been achieved with the aid of the two foreign forces.

    I fully acknowledge the supply of weapons to extremist forces (and not the Free Syrian Army) by the Arab regimes that are determined to protect their own illegitimacy by doing everything possible to prevent the rise of the Free Syrian Army because an Islamist Sunni government in Syria will lead to the downfall of these regimes soon thereafter.

    But, in the case of Syria, my position is that weapons given to an unarmed population fighting against a brutal dictator is welcome.

    Also, the Arab regimes and their fighters are NOT slaughtering civilians and I have never heard them claim to be the defenders of the Muslims and Palestinians against the US and Israel with the same kind of rhetoric employed by Iran. If one supports the oppressed Palestinians, then by logic one must defend against the injustice perpetrated by Asad against the oppressed Syrians as well. Since  Asad signed a ceasefire with Israel more than 30 yrs ago, Syria has never violated the ceasefire. Basically, the Syrian regime has been a “good neighbour” to Israel even when Israel bombs Syrian territory and civilians every now and then. Furthermore, what happened in Bahrain and what the Sunni regimes did is  wrong and despicable; we cannot support any injustice, anywhere. In Bahrain, Iran said a Sunni minority cannot rule a Shia majority, yet in Syria, Iran supports a 15% Alawite minority to suppress an 85% Sunni majority.

    Are the lives of the Syrian people a tit for tat for the Bahraini uprising? That is even more despicable.

    Furthermore, the Palestinians, specifically Hamas has distanced itself from Iran and Hezbollah because of their participation in and support for the brutal Assad regime. This decision was not taken lightly and Khaled Mishal stated that the finger of one child in Syria is dearer to the Palestinians than any dollars the Iranians wish to offer Hamas. Furthermore, if Iran was so sincere in supporting the Palestinians, when Hamas refused to participate in Iran’s PR stunt in Tehran, why did Iran persist in all efforts to weaken Hamas and try and overthrow Hamas leaders in Lebanon?

    About two months ago, Sheikh Rai’d Salaah; the most eminent Palestinian leader in Jerusalem told Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to create a new Al Quds day on a different day so that the Sunni world could follow that, clearly indicating that the Palestinians have distanced themselves from Asad and Iran.

    One cannot claim support for one injustice (the Palestinian conflict) whilst perpetuating and supporting another injustice, through reinforcements to a brutal dictator to murder innocents (Syrian conflict).

    I thus distance myself from all Iranian activities and celebrations that claim to be defending injustice in Palestine whilst perpetuating injustice in Syria.

    While Iran claims to be crying for Palestine, the Palestinians are crying for the Syrians and they themselves have distanced themselves from the Iranians and Hezbollah and certainly from Al-Quds day.

    In balancing justice against awareness, for any cause, I choose justice.

    Quraysha Ismail Sooliman is Assistant Lecturer, Political Science at the University of Pretoria

  4. People of Gaza and West Bank. Think about the future of your children. If you will turn your backs, hearts and minds from the Hamas murderers who use YOU and your babies as human shields and instead vote in a government who can see a future with Jew and Moslem flourishing in a land they can share – then surely you will do the positive good thing and stop hating

  5. Would it make any difference, even if Imam Khomeini was not a Muslim? Would it make any difference if Quds day was started by Fidel Castro? Come on, we have enough distractions, let's not be creative to invent more. Unite against injustices, whether or not the oppressed is a Muslim, whether or not the support you get is from a Muslim.

    1. without all the other Shia issues which is a lot. I don’t want to stand in front of Allah the day of reckoning and say I followed the leaders Shia , Sunni or other that did not accept the leadership of the COMPANIONS (RA) of the NABI (SAW). This caused long term disunity as all can see up till today. they (Shia) are the engineers of disunity . And today they cry Unity for one reason and one reason only as Qardawi said so that they can be free to spread their filthy believes

  6. Sister Quraysha,

    Many are in complete agreement with your expression of the “Justice First” principle and are equally disappointed at the unfortunate “geopolitiking” that is going on in that part of world at the cost of numerous lives from across all segments and religious denominations in that society. Yes, all nation states are vulnerable to compromising their principle’s at the expense of pragmatism or political interest when faced with this sort of decision making. No entity is immune to it. I think most people agree that the Syrian situation is a complete and utter mess in every sense of the word with competing loyalties, competing agenda’s, ugly sectarianism (By the way both the regime and their protagonists accuse one another of unleashing the sectarian monster) but most importantly manipulation of popular resentment to further dominance of a particular status quo. However, I wish to draw your attention to a few factual intricacies and anomalies in your post. The Free Syrian Army is being openly and admittedly aided by the very Israeli regime that is bombing its own territory from time to time as you point out. So how does one explain that? This is no rumour nor conspiracy. Many of their spokesman have openly said so in numerous press report. Why are their field hospitals in Israel treating their wounded? Why were Israeli supplied weapons confiscated from them and who was supplying them with logistical and intelligence information to confront the regime? Erdogan creating another Quds Day? Why is Turkey still a leading member of Nato? The same organisation which created the mess in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere. He is their president, not so? If Turkey is a leading and upright member aiming to uplift the oppressed Muslim world, why has it not left NATO? Why is Erdogan allowing these horrific ISIS devils to use northern Turkey as a transit point into Syria? Are we to believe that a leading country in the Middle East with a westernised economy and access to advanced technology cannot control its own borders properly? Really? Who helped and supplied the Palestinian resistance with the means to enable them to resist the Israelis in the Gaza War? Who continues to do that? The Gulf states, right? Who sent their suicide bombers to the bomb the streets and buildings full of people in Lebanese neighbourhoods which triggered Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria? What was Hezbollah suppose to do? Support the very sectarian elements who regard them as fertile meat for slaughter on account of their religious beliefs and allow these elements to establish themselves right next to them. Were they suppose to allow Lebanon to become another Iraq? The point is that there are many angles to this complex issue. I support Quds Day not on account of Iranian geopolitics but because the cause is just and the leader who established it did so on sound principles of justice for all. Another final question. Please show me the Imam Khomeini of the broader Muslim world? Where is he or she? Where?

  7. sorry pal I stick to it. you will be my witness on the day of reckoning. this is not fidel castro or Christian or a jew its a group(Islam) that does not accept the leadership of the companions RA of the Nabi SAW. if they did not and still don't why should I accept their leadership. I say to boycott their call for quds day is more beneficial for the struggle of Palestine. Allah judge us by our good intention.

  8. sorry pal I stick to it. you will be my witness on the day of reckoning. this is not fidel castro or Christian or a jew its a group(Islam) that does not accept the leadership of the companions RA of the Nabi SAW. if they did not and still don't why should I accept their leadership. I say to boycott their call for quds day is more beneficial for the struggle of Palestine. Allah judge us by our good intention.

  9. sorry pal I stick to it. you will be my witness on the day of reckoning. this is not fidel castro or Christian or a jew its a group(Islam) that does not accept the leadership of the companions RA of the Nabi SAW. if they did not and still don't why should I accept their leadership. I say to boycott their call for quds day is more beneficial for the struggle of Palestine. Allah judge us by our good intention.

  10. without all the other Shia issues which is a lot. I don't want to stand in front of Allah the day of reckoning and say I followed the leaders Shia , Sunni or other that did not accept the leadership of the COMPANIONS (RA) of the NABI (SAW). This caused long term disunity as all can see up till today. they (Shia) are the engineers of disunity . And today they cry Unity for one reason and one reason only as Qardawi said so that they can be free to spread their filthy believes

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