RNA – In an interview with Saif Ali Budgami, an activist in Indian-occupied Kashmir, said, “International al-Quds Day is the name of the voice of voiceless, the hope of the hopeless, the help of the helpless, the identity of the unidentified, the courage of the discouraged, the consolation of the bereaved, the strength of the weak, the weapon of the oppressed. al-Quds Day is the name of the path of resistance, the day of struggle and is truly the day of victory for the tyrannized people around the world.”
He explained that al-Quds Day was originally established by Imam Ruhollah Khomeyni, the Leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, who declared the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadhan as International al-Quds Day. It is an annual anti-Zionist day of protest in which Muslims around the world unite in solidarity against oppression and tyranny, especially regarding the illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel. He declared the liberation of al-Quds (the first qiblah of the Muslims) as a religious duty upon all Muslims. al-Quds Day is an international day and is not limited and exclusive to al-Quds or Palestine but rather it is a day to defend the tyrannized around the world, be it in Palestine, Kashmir or any other tyrannized region. This is the day for the oppressed to rise up against the arrogant oppressors to defeat them.
He said, “International al-Quds Day is the cry of the oppressed and tyrannized ones against all forms and manifestations of injustice, tyranny and oppression. Although it is held for only one day and has a specific symbol, this event has a general message with multiple aspects. al-Quds is an international religious symbol for Muslims around the world. Its suffering reflects the reality of tyranny and oppression of which many people and communities, at different times and ages, are enduring. It reflects the reality of the ongoing conflict between the oppressors and the oppressed ones which has been referred to in the Holy Quran.”
Mr. Budgami continued, “We, as Muslims live in this reality every single day, with different aspects and approaches. We have a constant need to understand the concepts of the conflict, its goals and objectives, its causes, its facts, its consequences across history. We must not rely on the present, which might draw a false image of it.”
The Kashmiri activist said, “al-Quds Day is like the adhan (the call to prayer) that invites people to the mosque for salah (prayer). Similarly. al-Quds Day invites and attracts all Muslims to assemble and protest against the oppression of oppressors. This day may take adorn Kashmir with blooming and enshrined revolutionary buds. Its existence and influence, if not limited may erase all sorts of black chapters from the book of the Kashmir Valley. This land, which is thirsty for unity, needs such demonstrators to pinch to facilitate its needs during the resistance movement.”
He emphasized that this day must not be considered just a day for al-Quds but the day of Islam, the day of raising Islamic banners calling for unity and Islamic governance, against Zionism, the illegal invasion and occupation of Kashmir and Palestine and other oppressed nations. Through my observations and experiences, some reputed Islamic scholars in the Kashmir Valley neglect this day and keep it limited to the Palestinians.
“On the other hand, hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri people observe al-Quds with great esteem but neglect Kashmir issue. Be sure both categories are an approach in the wrong direction. Both nations should struggle hand in hand with the highest solidarity with one another. The true believer is one who feels the pain in the east, of injuries of a believer in the east,” he told Rasa News Agency.
Mr. Budgami said, “There is no doubt that International Day of al-Quds, which coincides with the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadhan every year, involves significant semantics and symbolic and spiritual concepts related to one of the most important issues that holds significant concern by the general Islamic world, among which the revelation of Holy Quran, the best guide for humankind is narrated, as well as those supporting and advocating for humanity, the values of truth, justice and victory for the oppressed and tyrannized ones. Furthermore, the day should be kept alive not by excluding Palestine but by also including Kashmir because both nations share many more similarities than differences and must unite to liberate themselves from the illegal occupations of Israel and India.”
In this regard, he said, “We Kashmiri and Palestinian people are treated as second class citizens in our own lands, Kashmir and Palestine are among the most militarized regions in the world, both regions have lived under military occupation since 1947 and people are forced to travel through military checkpoints in order to move almost everywhere, including commuting to work.”
He said, “Therefore, the small but growing pockets of solidarity expressed for us Kashmiris is equivalent to international solidarity for the Palestinian struggle. Joining the dots between the occupation of Kashmir and Palestine shows the need for greater solidarity between the two independent freedom struggles. The resistant Kashmiri people should not observe this day just for the Palestinian cause but rather Kashmir should be adorned similarly to Palestine, as when growing up Kashmiri children also watched the ever-increasing graveyards being adorned. We too have a similar history as we have suffered under the brutal occupation by India and the stories of the dead can not be silenced. Torture and death can be buried no longer.”
Mr. Budgami stressed, “People, who mark al-Quds Day in Kashmir in memory of Palestine and exclude Kashmir means to leave the dead body unburied and commemorate the death anniversary of the buried. Therefore, the Kashmiri people must not ignore Kashmir and support Palestine separately, rather they should unitedly oppose the similar occupiers. This is the day to warn the Zionist powers under any form of government – whether democracy or dictatorship – to end their illegal occupation. This day must be used as a means of struggle and the path of resistance in Kashmir as well.”
He added, “al-Quds Day is a day to heal the injured, console the bereaved, encourage the weak, reward the martyrs, award the fighters and punish the cruel. al-Quds Day is a day of unity against evil and oppressors to rub their nose in the dirt. The day surely distinguishes the hypocrites from the true believers as true believers acknowledge accordingly and rise up against Zionist domination and the hypocrites enjoy luxuries under the shadow of Zionism. Amongst the greatest jihad is a word of justice in front of a tyrant.”
“In conclusion,” he said, “We must send thousands of salutations to the personality who constructed the base of the Islamic Revolution and gifted this day to the oppressed. It has been a day to make a global call for resistance and uprising to regain the rights of the deprived. This is the day of justice and the day of salvation from oppression and we hope this holy day could be the day of victory from the tyranny, oppression and illegal occupation for Palestine and Kashmir as well.”
Rasa News Agency