[On Friday January 22, a month after being released from more than two years’ imprisonment, Ma’allam Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic movement in Nigeria, was prevented from addressing a one-million strong Yaum Al-Quds rally in Zaria, northern Nigeria. One Muslimah was martyred and several others injured when police fired on people after the rally; Inna lillahi wa inna illaihi rajiun. This is the text of his address delivered on behalf of Ma’allam Zakzaky.]
‘Today we celebrate the day of Quds, the sixteenth time we carry out such celebration in 16 years. We celebrate the day through procession and speeches, reminding ourselves, the Muslim Community and indeed the entire world about the plight of Masjid Al-Aqsa and the land of Palestine. The plight of the Masjid and of Palestine itself is symbolic of the plight of all oppressed States and nations the world over, and indeed, the greatest of such symbols – symbolising the oppression of the arrogant world powers over the weak States – as nowhere on earth do they more effectively demonstrate their wickedness and barbarism than in the land of Palestine.
‘It is there they seized the third Holiest Mosque in the sight of the Muslim World and the first Qiblah of Islam. Now every Friday Muslims worshippers pray at the Mosque surrounded by their enemies armed to the teeth, ready for fatal attack at any moment. It is there that an entire nation, the Palestine nation, is deprived of its land of origin, and made either to live either as slaves in their homes or scattered all over the world in a state of fear.
‘And even more astonishing is the fact that the powers of world arrogance, through their media, point their accusing fingers not at the oppressors, but at the oppressed, calling them terrorists, fundamentalists and accusing them of using force! While the world powers claim to be keeping the peace!
‘The plight of the Holy City of Quds and the nation of Palestine is indeed the plight of all weak and oppressed States and nations all over the world, including of course, the Nigerian State and nation, particularly the Muslim community within it. This is despite the widely acclaimed proclamation that these States are sovereign and independent, having governments of their own, with the full power and destiny of their people in their hands -- these puppet government are controlled through remote control by the arrogant world powers, indeed sometimes even openly and directly controlled by them.
‘The governments of these nation-States are no better than the ‘independent’ and ‘sovereign’ government of Mr. Yasser Arafat! The oppressed nations of these nation-States are also no better than the Palestinians now under perpetual siege. This example is much clearer in some States than in others.
‘Take for example, the case of Algeria where the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was set to win an election when suddenly and openly, without fear or shame, the west took over through a military coup and installed a puppet government. This regime, representing the western powers, has turned Algeria into a slaughter-house, where every day they kill innocent Muslims through barbaric means and then accuse those they label ‘Muslim fundamentalists’, whom they have given names that no fool would use himself -- ‘Armed Islamic Group’ for example.
‘No-one should believe that a popularly elected Islamic movement would turn against the very people that elected it. Algeria is one case which Quds symbolises.
‘Another example is the case of Iraq where the world powers sponsored Saddam Takriti and provided him with the worst weapons at their disposal to fight the Islamic Republic of Iran in a war that lasted for eight years without victory. Now the same world powers attack Iraq, shelling and killing innocent Muslims on the pretext of destroying Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, and facilities for the manufacture of chemical and biological weapons. They shamelessly rain fire on the Muslims of Iraq in order to prevent Saddam from being a threat to his neighbours! They rain death on Iraq to keep the peace!
‘Take also the example of Kenya and Tanzania where the world’s ‘superpower’ planted bombs in its own embassies, killing huge numbers of innocent Kenyans and Tanzanians, only to turn around and point the accusing finger at Osama bin Ladin. They consequently attacked Sudan and Afghanistan, and are now daily kidnapping innocent Muslims from around the world and taking them to their courts charged with planting the bombs in Kenya and Tanzania.
‘Take for example..... take for example..... similar cases abound where the powers of world arrogance arrogating all powers to itself, demonstrating their force against weak and helpless people, while claiming the ability and the right to keep the peace. If one studies the cases of other weak countries such as Libya, Kosova, Bosnia, Chechenya and Kashmir, it would be seen that most of the victims of this oppression are Muslims.
‘As I have mentioned earlier, Nigeria is among these oppressed nations. The effort of Sani Abacha to destroy the Islamic Movement in Nigeria with all forces at his disposal can only be understood as part of the plan of the west, which manipulates these puppet regimes by remote control to suppress the weak ones.
‘In the last two years, we have been subjected to arbitrary arrests and detention without trial; instant convictions at the first appearance in the court (and sometimes in absentia); police firing on peaceful processions, be they processions for celebrations or for protests -- even wedding ceremonies have not been spared; attacks on mosques and madrassahs during prayers or lessons; the destruction of houses of dwelling and stealing properties therein; the destruction of religious centres including schools and mosques; the destruction of farmlands and crops; the intimidation of women and children; and countless violations of religious sanctities.
‘Surprisingly, these barbaric acts have continued even after Abacha’s death. One would think the Ahmed Bello University Mosque was another Quds, where every Friday Muslims must pray surrounded by armed soldiers. On two Fridays last Ramadhan, they even went as far as opening fire on innocent Muslims. They also arrested and tortured many people. Twenty seven of those arrested where summarily tried and sentenced to serve a total of two hundred and sixteen years in prison! Their only crime was entering a mosque without permission! And as usual, the authorities shamelessly claim to be combating a threat to peace!
‘We take this opportunity of Quds day celebrations to show our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Palestine, and with all the oppressed peoples of the world, who are made to face plights similar to those of the Palestinians. Despite all the vicious attacks made on us, we will never give up the struggle to regain our rights. We will never bow and surrender our dignity.
‘While the enemy laughs, we are also fully hopeful and confident. And above all, we have the assurance of the Almighty Allah that in the end, success shall be ours, insha’Allah.’
Muslimedia: November 1-15, 1999