AL-AQSA, IMN AND THE REST OF US
By Robert Brown
Ever since Ayatollah Khomeini (QSS) declared the last Friday of every Ramadan as Quds day following the Islamic revolution in 1979, with the sole aim of showing support for the oppressed Palestinians and raising awareness about the humiliating occupation of the third holiest site of Islam (Al Aqsa) by the Zionist entity of Israel, Muslims all over responded positively with annual processions, Seminars and conferences across the nook and crannies of the world.
In Nigeria, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) under the leadership of Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky spearheaded the annual Quds day procession and other awareness programs through out its years of existence and transformation . Other organizations and religious sects that are largely Sunnis didn't care to respond to Khomeini's call for obvious sectarian reasons despite the fact that the issue of al-Aqsa and Palestine transcends sectarian divisions and that Palestinians are Sunnis and the holy sites are all under Sunni custody.
The other organizations that were seen as Shiittes chose the path of caution by refraining from Quds awareness rallies and programs to avoid confrontation with security operatives and misinformed public.
For the Four decades that IMN consistently hit the streets of Nigerian cities to remind Muslims and the world about al-Aqsa and the plight of the Palestinians, they were received with cold contempt and insults from the public and confronted with brutal force by the security operatives resulting in lost of lives and injuries.
The clampdown on IMN Quds day procession in 2014 saw the murder of 34 people by the Nigerian military including three sons of Sheikh el-Zakzaky that were selectively targeted and murdered. Many politicians then, including PMB and el-Rufai jumped over themselves to condole and console el-Zakzaky over his loss, as it was perfectly beneficial for their politics at that material time of PDP's dominance. A year after this incident, with Buhari as the President, the military went ahead to murder more than a thousand members of the IMN in Zaria; shot, arrested and incarcerated el-Zakzaky and his wife after killing another three of his Children. El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state ordered with impunity the mass burial of 347 bodies of the members : men, women, children all in a single grave. El-Rufai went on to demolish Hussainiyya Baqiyatullah, the personal residence of el-Zakzaky, the house where his mother was interned and many structures of IMN. All this to the cheers and applaud and great jubilation of the hostile Takfiri Salafists and their Zionist masters that benefitted from the massacre and destruction.
Today the IMN may have been greatly subdued in its capacity to organize mass rallies in support of Palestine and for the recovery of Masjidul Aqsa, or to embark on long distance trek to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein (as) the grandson of the Prophet (saw), but the cause for which they struggled and paid the supreme sacrifice is alive and demands even more action and commitment from the Muslims across board . The ignominy the Muslim world is facing with the Zionist's effrontery and audacity of placing metal detectors at the entrance of al-Aqsa and lining up worshippers to be searched before entering the mosque , symbolizing the complete takeover of the holy mosque by Israel is the worst humiliation a Muslim can imagine.
Now, perhaps from this reality today many Muslims would see the deep wisdom and insight of Imam Khomeini in declaring the international Quds day, and perhaps many Nigerian Muslims would forgive the annual Quds day procession of the IMN and the obstruction of traffic flow and even wake up from their deep slumber to contribute their quota in the struggle for the liberation of Al -Aqsa.
The humiliation of Muslims in this three weeks seems to make everyone worried. The son of former King of Saudi , Fahd is calling for Jihad to liberate al-Aqsa, Erdogan calls it a matter of faith and the issue of every Muslim. These are are just few comments from hitherto silent corners. In Nigeria will the Izala-Salafist axis take al-Quds seriously? Will the Sufi Qadiriyya and Tijjaniya do anything for al-Aqsa and the liberation of Palestine ?
Zakzaky and IMN have done their fair share, they have done a lot. What can you do as a Muslim?