Iranian authorities have announced that Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami will lead Tehran’s Friday prayers on al-Qods day.
“On al-Qods day, Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami will lead the Friday prayers in Tehran. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will also speak before the sermons,” the capital’s Friday prayers headquarters announced in a Wednesday statement.
Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement Ramadan Abdullah is also expected to address the crowds before the sermons.
The statement came a day after former Iranian president and prominent cleric Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who usually leads al-Qods day prayers, urged an epic turnout on Friday.
“God forbid that al-Quds day, which the Islamic Revolution’s wise old leader called the day of Islam’s awakening, be forgotten because of disputes,” he said on Monday, addressing Iranians and Muslims in general.
“God forbid that that the rifts (among Muslims) provide an opportunity for the enemy to make a gain; an enemy which has waited years in the hope of erasing the true Islamic identity of al-Qods,” he added.
For years now, Muslims have held demonstrations on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in support of Palestinians and their plight to free their homeland from Israeli occupation, which has lasted over six decades.