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Pro-Palestine meet urges government not to disturb traditional stand

It’s not an issue of Muslims or Arabs alone. This is an issue which has challenged global justice and human rights

Our Correspondent

Hyderabad, October 25, 2023: In a first major show of support in this city for oppressed Palestinians, thousands of people attended a public meeting here on Monday to condemn Israel’s atrocities in Gaza.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) organised the massive public meeting which was addressed by leaders of different political parties, socio-religious organizations and various sects.

The meeting unanimously passed a resolution declaring its support for the decades-long struggle of the Palestinians to end the occupation of their lands.

It called upon the international community to rein in Israel which is committing crimes against humanity and genocide against Palestinians.

The resolution urged the government of India to honour India’s long legacy of support to the cause of Palestine.

The public meeting, presided over by AIMIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owasi, was addressed by Telangana’s Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, Ameer-e-Halqa of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Telangana, MKM Zafar, representatives of different sects, religious scholars and leaders of various other organizations.

While Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) organised silent protests at a few places in Hyderabad on October 13 and a group of women organised ‘Qunoot-e-Nzila’ on October 19, this was the first large gathering in the city.

AIMIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owasi addressing the program

Darussalam, the headquarters of AIMIM, echoed with ‘Nara-e-Takbeer Allahu Akbar’, ‘Palestine Zindabad’ and ‘Masjid-e-Aqsa Zindabad’. The participants were carrying placards with writings like ‘I stand with Palestine’, ‘Israel is a genocidal cancer’ and ‘Free Palestine’.

Owaisi said in his speech that over 5,000 Palestinians including 2,000 children have been martyred in Israel’s bombardment. He later told reporters that a humanitarian corridor to Gaza is urgently needed.

The MP demanded that India as the President of G-20 should take the initiative to create a corridor like the one created for Berlin in 1948-49 during its blockade by Britain. The US and its allies had dropped humanitarian aid for the people of Berlin for 18 months. He recalled that in 1987, when the Sri Lankan Army had besieged Jaffna, India had dropped essential supplies for the people of the region.

JIH Telangana President MKM Zafar addressing the protest meet

MKM Zafar appealed to the government of India to continue the country’s traditional stand of backing the Palestinian cause and if necessary sever its diplomatic relations with Israel.

The president of JIH Telangana mentioned that India is emerging as a major power in the region and if it wants it along with the international community can build pressure on Israel to ensure peace in the region.

Stating that India had been a supporter of Palestinian cause for a long time, he said Jamaat-e-Islami wanted to remind the people of Gandhi’s words that Palestine belongs to the Palestinians just as England belongs to the English and France to the French.

He called for creating a strong narrative and discourse that Palestinian issue is not only an Arab issue of Muslims but purely a humanitarian issue.

“I want to tell this country’s all positive-minded Hindus, Christians, Jews and other brethren that it’s not an issue of Muslims or Arabs alone. This is an issue which has challenged global justice and human rights,” he said.

MKM Zafar also noted that some people on social media were poisoning the minds of positive-minded people for electoral gains.

He said it was unfortunate that the community failed in building a narrative and a discourse.

“If this had happened in any other country, this would have been a big issue of humanity. Some time ago Ukraine was shaking the entire world. Today oppressed people of Gaza could not create the same impact. We youth are responsible for this,” he said.

MKM Zafar said that there is a need to understand why the United States was supporting Israel. “It has its own business interests. No American president was ever detached from the corporate sector,” he observed.

“As far as Muslim countries are concerned, I only want to say that we are living in a secular country which has the world’s largest Muslim population. We have to take this narrative and discourse forward by using the positive thinking in the people of this country,” he said.

He pointed out that more than 50 per cent people of this country rejected fascism and they are waiting for ‘us to present the message of Islam to them’.

A view of the large gathering attending the pro-Palestine meet in Hyderabad

The resolution adopted at the meeting mentioned that parts of Palestine were occupied in May 1948 and the remaining parts were occupied in June 1967. “The Palestinian people have an inalienable right under international law to self-determination, national independence, and sovereignty. They have a right to resist occupation by all means and try to free themselves from the illegal occupation of their lands. They further have the right to return to their homes and property that they have been dispossessed of since 1948,” reads the resolution.

The resolution noted that Gaza is the world’s largest concentration camp. Since 2006, Gaza has been under a brutal occupation and faces a land, air and sea blockade. “The 20 lakh people of Gaza have faced a continuing humanitarian disaster. They have been denied access to basic necessities, and the right to movement. The people of Gaza have faced repeated wars, and endured a permanent collective punishment. Eighty percent of the people of Gaza rely on humanitarian aid. Children comprise nearly half of the population of Gaza. Israel must permanently lift the blockade and end its bombardment, occupation, control and surveillance of Gaza’s people.”

“The Palestinians of occupied territory of the West Bank similarly endures apartheid and dispossession every day. Israel’s de facto annexation of the West Bank, and the facilitation of illegal settlements is immoral and illegal. The International Court of Justice has called the construction of the wall across the West Bank as a violation of international law. The people of the West Bank face 1500 checkpoints that constrain their liberty of movement. Israel must demolish the Apartheid Wall, pay reparations to the Palestinians, and return all land from which Palestinians have been dispossessed,” it added.

The meeting also condemned the repeated desecration of Al-Aqsa compound and Israel’s attempt to restrict worship at one of the three holiest lands of Muslims.

“Israel must adhere to international law and UN resolutions, besides honouring the Oslo Accords of 1992-93. It must end its occupation of Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jerusalem and all territories. Israel must not prevent the formation of a free and sovereign Palestinian state any longer,” says the resolution.

It rejected the Israeli plan to implement their long-standing “Transfer” plan to expel large Palestinian communities out of the occupied Gaza Strip to Sinai Peninsula and out of the occupied West Bank to Jordan.

The resolution recalled that in 1974, India became the first non-Arab state to recognize Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. In 1988, India became one of the first countries to recognize the State of Palestine.

“The Republic of India must continue to honour this legacy of support to the people of Palestine. We call upon the government of India to remember what Mahatma Gandhi said, “Palestine belongs to the Palestinians just as England belongs to the English and France to the French.”

India has always stood and acted in solidarity with victims of apartheid and colonialism, whether in South Africa, Indonesia, or Palestine. It must not forsake this history,” reads the resolution.

The resolution also condemned the attempt of some state governments to discourage or criminalise demonstrations by the Indian people against the shocking Israeli crimes in Gaza Strip including attacks on hospitals, schools, churches and mosques.

Mufti Khaleel Ahmed, Sheikhul Jamia of Jamia Nizamia; Moulana Shah Mohammed Jamalur Rehman Miftahi, Moulana Hussamuddin Saani Jaffer Pasha, Moulana Mohammed Abdul Qavi of Jamiatul Ulema, Ziauddin Nayyar, president, Majlis-e-Tameer-e-Millat; Dr Syed Nisar Hussain Hyder Agha, president, Shia Majlis-e-Ulema Zakireen, Moulana Shafeeq Alam Khan Jamai, president, Jamiat Ahle Hadees and Dr Badruzzaman of Tableegi Jamaat, Telangana were among the speakers.

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