Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), commonly referred to as Shiites, have demonstrated their support for Palestinians in the wake of Israel’s retaliatory assault on the Gaza Strip and Hamas fighters.
The Shiites protesters were observed displaying the Palestinian national flag at the well-known Banex Plaza and concluded their demonstration at the traffic light along Ahamadu Bello Way, Abuja.
They chanted anti-Israeli slogans and symbolically burned the Israeli national flag to convey their frustration. Israel had initiated the bombardment of the Gaza Strip shortly after Hamas initiated a surprise attack, resulting in the loss of lives among Israeli civilians.
The protesters urged Nigerians to speak out and stand in solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians while celebrating the successes achieved by the Palestinian people.
In a statement issued by the movement’s representative, Sheikh Sidi Munir Sokoto, the group said, “Palestine launched Al-Aqsa Flood to respond to the recent attacks by the Israel Occupation Forces on al-Aqsa mosque and the Gaza refugee camp
“We are demonstrating in solidarity with Palestine for the success recorded in the Al-Aqsa Flood operation against the state of Israel. Palestine launched Al-Aqsa Flood to respond to the recent attacks by the Israel Occupation Forces on al-Aqsa mosque and the Gaza refugee camp.
“Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, located at the heart of Jerusalem’s old city, is the third holiest site in Islam. Supporting the struggle for the freedom of Palestine is not only for Muslims alone, but for all people of conscience.
“Operation Al-Aqsa Flood was also in response to the Israeli Occupation Forces’ 16-year blockade of Gaza, raids inside West Bank cities over the past year, violence at al-Aqsa, increasing attacks by state of Israel on Palestinians, and the growth of settlements.
“Israel is in breach of international law, and the Palestinians are fighting to liberate their homeland from 75 years of Israeli oppression and terrorism.
“The Israel military and settlers are the terrorists, as they have been killing and abducting Palestinian women and children for many years, not the Palestinian freedom fighters who are demanding the right to return for those unjustly driven out of their homeland by the state of Israel.
“Armed struggle is legitimate under international law. Gaza has been under the Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in living standards. Thus, we must condemn this injustice and oppression against the oppressed people of Palestine.
“Supporting oppressed people is human. Islam taught us that human beings are either our brothers in religion or in humanity. As said by Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”