By Mehdi Mousavi

Soleimani school of thought goes beyond borders

January 3, 2023 - 18:34

KERMAN- The Golzar Shohada (Garden of Martyrs) cemetery in Kerman has become the epitome of Resistance Front over the past three years in a way that pilgrims from different countries travel to this city to pay homage to martyr Qassem Soleimani. 

Kerman is the city of “Qassemion Army”, an army that has always supported its commander. The young generation in Kerman now follow the school of thought initiated by martyr Soleimani.

The Golzar Shohada cemetery is home to 1024 martyrs. Some of them lost their lives in the fight against the tyrants before the victory of the Islamic Revolution; some were martyred by the Munafiqeen (the common name for the MKO); some are from the 8 years of the Sacred Defense [1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war]; some in the fight against terrorists and villains; and also some sacrificed their lives in the fight against Daesh (ISIS). 

These martyrs have adorned this little paradise.

Soleimani’s grave visited by Muslims and liberal activists 

The face of Golzar Shohada has changed over the past three years. It is now one of the pilgrimage sites in Iran. Pilgrims travel from all over the country to Kerman to visit the grave of the “Master of Martyrs” of the Resistance Front. Iranians from different ethnic groups, including Kurds, Baluchs, Lors, Bakhtiaris, Turkmens, Turks, join together in this place where a tent is erected in the memory of Imam Hussein (AS) throughout the year.

The site also hosts people from different countries such as Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Indonesia, Argentina, Italy, Australia, Russia, etc.

Pilgrims from 80 countries visit the grave of General SoleimaniPilgrims from 80 countries come to Kerman individually or in groups to visit the grave of Martyr Soleimani.

Mohammad Reza Hassani Saadi, director of the Kerman cemetery, says: “The doors of Golzar Shohada are open to all liberals and human right activists in the world. There are many people, who without any pre-planning, travel thousands of kilometers to visit Golzar Shohada to know a man who lived humbly and devotedly served his people and religion and the entire humanity.”

Hassani Saadi says just during the last Iranian calendar year (March 2021-March 2022) citizens from 80 countries came to Golzar Shohada to visit the grave of Lt. Gen. Soleimani. 

“According to the records registered by the management of the cemetery, during the last year, pilgrims from 80 countries came to Golzar Shohada and became familiar with Soleimani’s values and school of thought. What all these people have in common is liberal thinking, the humble lifestyle which the parents of martyr Soleimani also practiced till the last days of their lives. Also, martyr Qassem Soleimani’s lifestyle and graciousness have won young and old’s hearts, drawing them to Kerman.”

Sunni pilgrims from the Arab world also visit Kerman to pay homage to the martyr general.

“Pilgrims are from all walks of life, from Iraqi nomads to Australian university professors, from an Argentinian artist to Indonesian Muslims and Pakistani Shiites. There are also Sunni pilgrims from the Arab world who come wholeheartedly, and of course Iraqi, Pakistani and Lebanese pilgrims are more in numbers than the others,” Hassani Saadi adds.

Director of the Kerman cemetery explains how the anti-terror hero succeeded to win the hearts of people. 

 “During his lifetime, martyr Soleimani did his best to promote the goals of Islam, defend the oppressed, and suppress Daesh terrorists, and finally he was martyred by the coward American terrorists. I had seen martyr Soleimani many times during his lifetime walking through the martyrs’ graves and wishing, in his night prayers, to join them. But on the other hand, he tried all throughout his life to help oppressed people and proved in deed that he knew how to fight with oppressors and enemies.  He treated people kindly; he was their protector and put his life in jeopardy for them.  This is how he could conquer the hearts of Muslims around the world after his martyrdom. Pilgrims come here and shed tears on his grave with all their love for him.” 

We are prepared to host foreign pilgrims visiting Golzar Shohada

 “Now that Covid-19 is contained; we expect to receive far more visitors for the third anniversary of General Soleimani’s martyrdom, and we are well prepared to receive foreign pilgrims,” the cemetery director says.

He also believes those who visit the Golzar Shohada cemetery will turn into promoters of the general’s school of thought.

“Pilgrims from different countries travel to Kerman and watch together people’s sincere love for Soleimani and participate in the mourning events; each of them then will act as an envoy to promote Soleimani’s school of thought,” he opines.

Pilgrims narrate memories with Haj Qassem

Mohammad Mohammadi, one of the staffs working at the Golzar Shohada cemetery, also says the graveyard of the legendary commander is mostly visited by those families who were subjected to the barbaric crimes by Daesh in Syria and Iraq as well as the Lebanese whose country was repeatedly attacked by Israel. 

 “Most of the pilgrims are common people from the Resistance Front; they love Soleimani’s ideology. What is interesting for me is the presence of the pilgrims from Lebanon, Syria and Iraq who narrate the memories they have with Hajj Qassem. The memories of the time they were surrounded by Daesh or attacked by the Zionist regime in Lebanon, and Hajj Qassem saved their lives and their families,” Mohammadi points out.

Mohammadi adds: “There are many foreign pilgrims in Golzar Shohada. They come and sit in a corner of the cemetery, pray, and talk to Hajj Qassem in their own language as if he is listening and sitting next to them, and they knew each other for years.”

Martyr Soleimani belongs to everyone

Mohammadi also says the legacy left by the legendary commander does not just belong to the Iranian people.

“Hajj Qassem does not belong only to Iranians. He is the point of unity which exists in the Resistant Front and connects millions of people together. This was proved in his funeral in Iraq and Iran. Abu Hassan Zivari is one of the Iraqi pilgrims who says ‘Iraqi Shia and Sunni people remember the time when security forces fled from Daesh and people were left wandering in mountains and deserts or had been surrounded by Daesh. But martyr Qassem Soleimani hurried to help the people regardless of their religion and eliminated Daesh from our country’.”

Daesh terrorists butchered whoever was on their way. A genocide of Yazidis, a religious minority in Iraq, was carried out in the Sinjar area of northern Iraq in the mid-2010s. Thousands of Yazidi women and girls were forced into sexual slavery by Daesh, and thousands of Yazidi men were killed.

Hajj Qassem was student of the “Master of Martyrs” 

 Mohammadi also says many Iraqi people love General Soleimani and his comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis as well. 

“They love Hajj Qassem as a free Muslim.”

Only a person who followed the path of Imam Hussein - the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad – had the audacity to risk his life and rush to the help of those brutalized by Daesh, he remarks. 

“How is it that a person who went to the deserts of Iran and Syria, kilometers away from his birthplace to put his life in danger to save Iraqi people who were killed brutally? Because Hajj Qassem was the follower of Imam Hossein (AS),” Mohammadi opines.

Hajj Qassem taught our children to be liberal

 “We are grateful to martyr Qassem Soleimani. He taught our children to be liberal and help the oppressed in the world. It is shameful that American terrorist assassinated this great man in Iraq. So, we try to follow him and promote his goal which was fighting against arrogance and America,” he adds.

 ‘Martyrdom is a shared ethos’

Zahra Al-Badaghi is an Arab girl who is sitting on a bench in a corner of the cemetery. Hoisting the Lebanese flag, she says: “Martyrdom is an ethos shared by the people of Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. We are united in our fight against Israel, Daesh and America.”

“The doors of Golzar Shohada are open to all liberals and human right activists in the world.”Zahra Al-Badaghi goes on to say that the peace in the region, including in Lebanon, is due to the unrivalled commandership by General Soleimani. That Israel no longer has the courage to attack Lebanon again is because of the military legacy of General Soleimani, she adds.

“Lebanon's Hezbollah and the people of this region today live in peace because this great man did great things for the people of my country without asking for anything in return. Today, Lebanese youths are aware; they will not allow the blood of the martyrs of the Resistance Front to be squandered. Today, Israel's enemy who attacked Lebanon under various pretexts, don't have the courage to attack Lebanon. And in Palestine our brothers and sisters are bravely fighting against them”.

The female pilgrim who has travelled to Kerman with his family says the “noble” general was assassinated by Americans because of his thoughts.  “We will take his revenge and will continue his way. Our devotion to the martyrs is nothing compared to their efforts done for God and we will continue their way.”

Hajj Qassem is a role model for Syrian youths

Hamd Sirani is also one of the Syrian pilgrims visiting Golzar Shohada. Commenting on the personality of General Soleimani, he says: “How is it that the whole world of oppression unites to martyr one person? Martyr Soleimani belongs to the world of Islam. The people of Syria saw with their own eyes how the Iranian brothers without expecting anything sacrificed their life to defend our country.”

Sirani says the sacrifices made by Iranians in Syria serve as a linkage between Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. 

“This blood ties us together and keeps the flag of Islam hoisted from Lebanon to Syria, Iraq and Iran. When the enemy tried to capture our country by dividing us, when some terrorists were killing our people, it was martyr Haj Qassim and his ideology who saved us,” the Syrian citizen remarks.

 He concluded his remarks by saying: “Hajj Qassem willingly sacrificed his life for the Syrian people. He is now a role model for Syrian youth and his martyrdom has given him a high place [in Syria]. Young people in the remote villages of Syria take him as an example.”  

The entire country, particularly Kerman province, is marking the third year that General Soleimani was assassinated. Kermanis welcome all pilgrims who come to visit his grave. 


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