Nigerian Muslims call for liberation of Palestinians
Muslim Awareness International (MAI) has called for end to kidnapping and banditary in Nigeria, even as it advocates the liberation of the troubled Palestinian Muslims.
The members of the group thronged the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos in their branded pro-Palestinian vests, with Palestinian and Nigerian flags for the solidarity walk, chorusing the call for freedom, justice and liberation of the oppressed Muslims across the world.
Some of the inscriptions read thus; Nigeria belongs to Nigerians, Palestine belongs to Palestinians; End Occupation; We say No to destruction of lives and properties in Palestine; Stop terrorism in Nigeria and Palestine; Kudos to the presidency in Nigeria for supporting peace in Palestine; ‘Killers! Hands off Nigerian children; Hands off Palestinian children among others.
The guest speakers, who spoke at this year’s Aqsa Day Walk For Palestine, Peace and Freedom, an initiative of Muslim Awareness International (MAI) alleged that the world leaders under the umbrella of the United Nations have exhibited double standard in its series of resolutions that indicted Israeli aggressions against the Palestinians.
The Director of MAI, Alhaji Abdul Waheed Atoyebi, told the gathering why the annual Aqsa Day lecture series took a new dimension.
He said: “We have decided to take a walk for peace and freedom in solidarity for our brethren during this year Aqsa Day, so as to diversify and be more dynamic with our pro-Palestinian advocacy. “We would be walking for societal enlightenment on Palestinian struggles. Their struggle for liberation is a global issue. Our President, Muhammadu Buhari had on several occasions rallied support for the Palestinians at the United Nations. This is our own way of showing solidarity with them and other oppressed Muslims in Syria, Yemen, Burma and lately, China.
He said walking for Palestine would assist the participants to improve their health and keep them fit, in accordance with the saying of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), who said, ‘A strong Muslim is better than a weak one’.“Our mission to continue advocating for peace in every part of the world will not wane. Struggle between truth and falsehood will continue till eternity and truth will ultimately prevail”.
Alhaji Atoyebi, who laid emphasis on the importance of peace in Palestine, Middle East and across the world, urged the United States of America to play its expected role as world leader and uphold justice and fairness.
The MAI Director also advocated for peace in Nigeria, especially the crises ridden regions.“We want peace in Palestine and in Northern Nigeria. We want peace in Southern Nigeria and an end to kidnapping and the internecine crises, though we appreciate what the president has been doing, particularly with regards to his pronouncements on the issue of our stand on the state of Palestine, we however urge him to please do more,” he said.
“I therefore call on every human being to work for peaceful co-existence with other human being as God’s given commandment irrespective of the other person’s affiliations – religion, ethnicity, culture, race, nationality etc. Let everyone exercise their Allah given rights, freedom and justice,” he said.
Dr Ganiyah Tijani-Adenle, a journalism scholar from the Lagos State University (LASU), Southwest, Nigeria, charged all lovers of peace to make efforts and advocate for the continuous recognition of the Palestinian state while also advising them to shun hypocrisy, double standard and fanaticism.
She said: “Personally, I feel that there is definitely double standard as regards the way the United Nations relates with Israel and other countries of the world when their resolutions are not obeyed. I think, there is a universal complicity and covert support for Israel to continue the occupation and oppression of Palestinians”.
“Honestly, I don’t see how feasible there can be a two-state solution when Israel is on a daily basis continuing occupation and building new settlements in the West Bank and other Palestinian areas and territories. Gaza has been under siege for over a decade with nothing being done by the UN to pressurise Israel and lift the siege. For me, the handwriting is boldly on the wall that Israel is not interested in a two-state agreement. It’s only concerned about wiping out Palestinians from their lands”.
She told the gathering that the pathetic state of Palestinians will remain or even get worse if the United Nations, Arab leaders of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and all lovers of peace around the world including Nigerians fail to speak up against the Israeli-Zionist regime.
She said, “We have to make efforts and advocate that our leaders representing Nigeria in the international community, take the right stand against the illegal occupation of Palestine by the Israeli regime. We have to keep talking and reminding people that Israeli illegal occupation is against the rights and freedom of women and children”.
“We need to know that we are not just doing this for Palestinians but for ourselves. Because if we keep quiet in the face of oppression in Gaza, the world will keep quiet when we are also oppressed and need the world to stand up for justice and defend us when our rights are also being trampled upon.”
Speaking on the possibility of some aggrieved member-countries forming splinter group over the UN’s inability to end the unjust treatment of the Palestinians and impose sanctions on Israel, Dr Adenle said, that should be the solution but the hypocrisy of the super powers and the deafening silence of some countries makes it look like it is actually something impossible.
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