Toronto holds the biggest Quds Day rally in its history attended by people of all faiths--Muslims, Christians, Jews and others--in solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine, especially in Gaza where they have faced a relentless barrage of Israeli bombs for more than three weeks. At least 1,000 Palestinians, 80 percent of them civilians, have been murdered by the zionists.
Sunday July 27, 2014, 12:27 DST
Tens of thousands of people packed the grounds in front of Queen’s Park Saturday for Quds Day rally in Toronto. There were men and women, children, even babies in strollers. There were Muslims as well as non-Muslims; there were Islamic organizations, Christian groups as well as anti-zionist Jewish groups that joined this year’s Quds Day rally.
Organized by the Quds Committee of Toronto, it is part of the International Day of Quds observed by Muslims and people of conscience worldwide in response to the call by the late Imam Khomeini in 1979. This year’s rally attracted even larger numbers because of Israel’s barbarous assault on Gaza that has killed, as of this writing more than 1,000 Palestinians. The vast majority of those killed are civilians, at least one-third children, according to the UN Human Rights Commission. At least 5,700 people have been injured by Israeli attacks. Such barbarism has appalled people from all walks of life.
This year’s rally was sponsored by a number of faith organizations as well as anti-war and peace groups. Repeatedly speakers not only condemned Zionist atrocities but also the Canadian government’s blatant support of such crimes. Speakers condemned the Harper regime for abandoning Canada’s traditional policy of a peacemaker and hopping on the Zionist bandwagon of atrocities. Harper’s support of Zionist war crimes makes him complicit in such crimes, a policy the overwhelming majority of Canadians reject.
Speakers at the rally included Karin Brothers of United Church, Suzanne Weiss of Not in Our Name, Sid Lacombe of the Canadian Peace Alliance, Raed Ayad of Palestine House, Zafar Bangash, Director Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, Eva Bartlett of International Solidarity Movement and Ali Mallah, former vice President of Canadian Arab Federation.
Toronto city reverberated with chants of Allahu Akbar, Free, Free Palestine, End the siege of Gaza, Zionism is racism and down with Zionism.
A number of children also recited poetry in support of Palestinian children. After speeches and chants at Queen’s Park, the rally marched towards the US Consulate about two kms south. The main road, University Avenue had to be blocked for vehicular traffic because of the massive crowd estimated at more than 25,000. Rabbis, Imams and priests walked shoulder to shoulder to condemn Zionist barbarities in Gaza and Palestine. Toronto city reverberated with chants of Allahu Akbar, Free, Free Palestine, End the siege of Gaza, Zionism is racism and down with Zionism.
Since its murderous assault on Gaza on July 8, Israel has bombed people’s homes, schools, hospitals, centers for the disabled and even UN compounds. The annual Quds Day rally is a powerful reminder of the illegal Zionist entity’s crimes causing immense suffering to ordinary people. Toronto has always had the honor of organizing the largest Quds Day rally in North America but this year surpassed all previous records. There were also rallies in 22 other cities across North America among them Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver in Canada while in the US, Washington DC, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix and Los Angeles also held rallies.