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Dallas Al-Quds Day protest builds interfaith unity for Palestine

By Sam Judy

The Grassy Knoll in Dallas as prayers finished before the protest.  | Fight Back! News/Sam Judy

Dallas, TX – On the last Friday of Ramadan, April 5, the Muslim Congress organized a protest for Al-Quds Day. The demonstration was held in collaboration with organizations such as Palestinian Youth Movement, CAIR Texas, Jewish Voice for Peace DFW, DFW Anti-War Committee and many others.

After community prayers, protesters gathered on the Grassy Knoll in downtown Dallas with picket signs and banners. Demonstrators chanted common pro-Palestine chants, shouting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” as the protest drummer set the chant’s rhythm.

A single unknown Zionist man shouted at protesters, repeating skewed narratives, including those referencing the two-state solution proposed by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000. This plan would have given Palestinians less than 17% of their previously held territory.

Al-Quds Day is a pro-Palestinian international holiday held on the last Friday of Ramadan. The holiday’s roots trace back to when Iran’s former leader Ruholla Khomeini started Al-Quds Day 45 years ago, established in solidarity with Palestinian resistance and against Israeli occupation.

Dr. Bilal Pirasha, a physician that served the people of Gaza with a team of eight other volunteer doctors, was one of many speakers at the event. They served in Gaza for two weeks during a medical mission from the humanitarian aid organization MedGlobal.

“I learned the meaning of life in Gaza,” stated Dr. Pirasha. “I was there, thinking, ‘What makes them stand so steadfast and so firm?’ There was a man outside the hospital, I asked him what makes them stand so strong. He told me ‘Doctor, every night we go to sleep we are ready to die. We are ready to be martyred. Then the next morning when we wake up, we start our life again with new hope and a new dream.’”

Every year, the Muslim Congress has a resolution they present to the world globally on Al-Quds Day. This year’s resolution, read by Sabah Shah, stated, “We represent all people of conscience, all people who care for the wellbeing of others, and all people who value human rights, freedom, justice, and equality. We detest and reject the Zionist propaganda that has infiltrated the lives of Palestinians for well over 70 years now, as well as the lives of millions of oppressed across the world. More than 30,000 Palestinians have been martyred since October 7, 2023. More than 29,000 bombs have been dropped on Gaza. Nearly 70% of Gaza is in ruins.”

Speeches during the demonstration had common messaging honoring the movement’s support from and for people of all faiths.

Imam Maha Shahidi stated, “Our gathering is a loud and clear cry for peace, and a demand for the end to the suffering, and a call to action for the dignity and rights that every human being deserves.“

Shahidi continued, “Let the people of Palestine, Muslims, Jews, Christians, and anyone regardless of their beliefs determine their own future. Palestinians have the right to self-govern. This cannot and will not be denied.”

In tandem with this, activist and speaker Zeba Khan addressed the crowd, pointing out the sense of unity in the movement to free Palestine, stating, “This movement, this interfaith, interpolitical, inter-everything coalition. This is actually history in the making. This solidarity for people who need help, no matter where they’re from. We, united, together, will go down in history and we will make the Zionist occupation history.”

The demonstration wrapped around 5 p.m., closing with a prayer in unity.

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