The office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Sunday released a poster imagining a future Eid al-Fitr prayer in Jerusalem with imprisoned leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and other Shia Islamist leaders across the world present.
Also portrayed in the poster were Hassan Nasrallah leader of Hezbollah, a Shia Islamist political party and militant group based in Lebanon, and Ismail Haniyeh the leader of Hamas, a Palestinian militant Islamist organisation.
Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Quds Force, leader Esmail Qaani, and Abdul Malik al-Houthi, leader of the Zaidi revolution movement Ansar Allah in Yemen and Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria since 2000.
Khamenei office also portrayed Qassem Soleimani a former leader of the foreign wing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who was killed in a U.S. airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport in January.
Khamenei is advocating for the unity of the “Islamic nation.”
“One of the key factors that can lead to honour and dignity for the Prophet of Islam, the Muslims, and the Islamic society and nation is the #unity of the Islamic nation,” the Iranian leader said on Twitter.
Many of these group leaders are leading struggles and fights for the adaptation of an Iranian-style Islamic state in their countries.
The style known as Shai is heavily influenced by the Iranian revolution, which saw Ayatollah Khomeini take power in 1979 after the overthrow of the US-allied Shah in a popular uprising.
Khomeini remains the main inspiration in Iran and among Shia Muslims. Khomeini was succeeded by Ali Khamenei in 1989.
In Nigeria, IMN supporters usually first pledge allegiance to Khomeini at their gatherings, and then to their local leader, Zakzaky.
The IMN views itself as a government and Zakzaky as the only legitimate source of authority in Nigeria, BBC reported.
In December 2015 Nigerian Army said the group blocked the road during its usual procession and attempted to kill the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, in Kaduna State.
El-Zakzaky was arrested thereafter. Rights groups said some 350 mostly unarmed Shiite marchers were killed by the Nigerian army.
He faces charges of murder, culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of public peace and other offences following the 2015 violence. He has pleaded not guilty.
A court in 2016 said El Zakzaky should be released but authorities spurned the court order.
The group was labelled a “terrorist” organisation by the Nigerian government in July, 2019.