While thousands of peaceful rallies and gatherings have sprung up globally in support of Palestinians against the atrocities being committed by Israelis in Gaza, over 5000 Sydney Muslims gathered for ‘Friday prayer for Palestine’ on Friday 20 October in Parry Park.
In response to the current crisis in Gaza, the Sydney-based Lebanese Muslim Association took the unprecented step of moving Jumu’ah prayer from its iconic Lakemba Mosque to Parry Park, a few hundred metres away last Friday.
Promoting the event as “Friday Prayer for Palestine”, the event was put together by the LMA in collaboration with a number of other mosques and religious organisations and a crowd of more than 5,000 attended, which is four or five times more than the regular congregation at Lakemba Mosque on a Friday for Jumu’ah.
Lakemba Mosque Imam Sheikh Yahya Safi (Arabic) and Sheikh Wesam Charkawi (English) delivered the sermons (khutbahs) and spoke passionately about the plight of the Palestinian people.
Their words were eloquently supported by guest speakers Abraham Zoabi, Sheikh Ahmed Abdo and Siddiq Buckley.
Sheikh Wesam Charkawi has been one of the “faces” of the Muslim community at rallies and protests for Palestine as over recent weeks in terms of speeches and media interviews.
The killing of innocent Palestinians) did not commence on October 7, 2023 – this has been 75 years in the making,” he said.
He asked of Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, “why don’t you condemn Israel and its worst atrocities?” and also accused the Prime Minister of “failing to have the courage of his convictions.”
“That is what happens when politics becomes your moral compass,” he added.
LMA president Hafez Alameddine told Channel Nine News: “Everyone is really emotional, everyone is fired up.”
“They are not happy with the Government’s position at the moment and this is our way of showing how we feel.”
Rallies of this nature are examples of the increasing global movement in support of the innocent people of Gaza.
Across the world, Muslim organisations and mosques continue to hold rallies and protests and dedicate prayers to Palestinians.
This hopefully will ensure that those affected by the conflict are heard and that their plight is acknowledged on an international scale.
There is no doubt that in spite of Australian politicians’ reluctance to stand in solidarity with Palestine, the worldwide rhetoric is changing, ever so slowly.
Let’s just hope that it isn’t too late.