Al-Quds Day Provides Stage for Incendiary Activity
“Al-Quds” (Quds is Arabic for "Jerusalem") marks a day in which members of the Muslim world seek to forward specific pro-Palestinian and "anti-Zionist" objectives. The holiday is typically celebrated through "expressions of solidarity" with the Palestinian people, taking the form of public rallies, marches, and protests, organized to demonstrate ideological opposition to the “Zionist State,” otherwise known as Israel.
Although much of the mainstream media, in keeping with its practice of sentimental pandering to the Arab world, portrays Al-Quds as a somber day of peaceful solidarity with the Palestinians, they fail to accurately represent the holiday's radical underpinning and ties to extremist ideology.
Al-Quds Day was conceived in 1979 by Iran's "Supreme Leader" Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the wake of the Islamic Revolution that gave rise to the nation's current theocratic constitution. While Khomeini's predecessor, the Shah Mohammad Pahlavi, maintained generally peaceful relations with Israel, Ayatollah Khomeini took a different direction after rising to power, immediately seeking to consecrate his heavily religious regime’s entry into the world with a bold, public display of ideology.
Khomeini himself created in Al-Quds Day a platform upon which to rally the global Islamic community to commence Jihad upon the State of Israel. On the first Al-Quds Day, Khomeini declared the "liberation of Quds" to be a religious duty to all Muslims, and further proclaimed, "I ask all the Muslims of the world and the Muslim governments to join together to sever the hand of this usurper [Israel] and its supporters."
This year, Al-Quds Day was honored across the Muslim world, with rallies taking place in over 80 countries. These rallies prominently featured radical leaders delivering messages laden with anti-Semitic and anti-western rhetoric.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah took to the stage for a rare appearance during a rally in Beirut, where he called the State of Israel a “cancerous growth,” and declared that the only solution for the oppressed Palestinians was to “destroy [Israel] without giving it the opportunity to surrender.”
In Tehran, new Iranian “moderate” (to quote the New York Times) President-elect Hassan Rouhani proclaimed, "The Zionist regime is a wound that has sat on the body of the Muslim world for years and needs to be removed." Outgoing President Ahmadinejad also did not mince words; “I will inform you with God as my witness, a devastating storm is on the way that will uproot the basis of Zionism”.
In Egypt, placards read, “We will not forget Quds… Zionism is the enemy of Allah,” while in the Kashmir, there were the all-too frequent chants of “Death to America, Death to Israel”.
The demonstrations were not limited to the Muslim World. In Toronto, A Palestinian community leader warned the Jews that if they don’t leave Israel, “We say get out or you’re dead! We give them two minutes and then we start shooting. In Berlin, hundreds called for the destruction of Israel.
Meanwhile in New York, anti-Israel activists joined the Communist Workers World Party, as their flyer noted, “In support of Palestine… United against Zionism”. The rally was lead by the recently ousted CAIR (Council of American-Islamic Relations) representative Cyrus McGoldrick, who has a long history of threatening police informants and encouraging vandalism of pro-Israel ads.