A human chain around Victoria’s Masjid Al-Iman mosque – a show of support for the Muslim community inside holding Friday prayer. (Keri Coles/News Staff)

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

A human chain surrounded Victoria’s Masjid Al-Iman mosque Friday, a show of support for the Muslim community inside holding Friday prayer.

RELATED: Mass shootings at New Zealand mosques kill 49; 1 man charged

In light of the recent mosque shootings in New Zealand, Victoria’s Sikh community invited Islanders to join them in forming a protective human chain “as a show of love and solidarity with our Muslim family and to remind everyone that bigotry will not be tolerated.”

“We understand this community’s pain. The same thing happened to us in 2012 in Wisconsin,” said Boota Singh, a member of Victoria’s Sikh community. “We understand how you feel when you lose someone you love. That’s why we planned to do this human chain – to show our support to the local Muslim community.”

“We are really surprised that not only Sikhs but Christians, Jewish people…everybody is here. It’s pretty impressive. We are so happy.”

RELATED: Candlelight vigil held in Victoria to honour victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

Members of the public began to gather shortly before 1 p.m. when worshippers were arriving for prayer at Masjid Al-Iman on Quadra Street.

Community leaders, the chief of police and people of all ages and religions linked arms in solidarity and circled the mosque to ensure the local Muslim community could worship in safety. Emotion was high as worshippers passed into the mosque, and back out again two hours later.

READ MORE: Protective human chain to form around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

The mosque’s imam, Ismail Mohamed Nur, addressed the crowd after worship.

“When we were first initially told that people within the community wanted to come and show their support I had no idea that so many of you would actually show up,” said Mohamed Nur. “It means a lot to our community. It is at difficult times that you really know who your friends are and it makes us really happy to see that we have so many friends here in Victoria.”

Members of the mosque shared food and water with the crowd, taking time to connect with the hundreds who stood guard while they prayed.

“I think it’s really important that we all stand together as a community when we are dealing with racism, Islamophobia, hatred,” said Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. “I think the fact that you are seeing so many people here today, joining together to say, ‘We stand with you. We won’t allow it. We say no to racism. We say no to hatred.’ I think our community is showing that in a very important way.”


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A human chain around Victoria’s Masjid Al-Iman mosque – a show of support for the Muslim community inside holding Friday prayer. (Keri Coles/News Staff)

Victoria’s Sikh community invited Islanders to join them in forming a protective human chain “as a show of love and solidarity with our Muslim family and to remind everyone that bigotry will not be tolerated.” (Keri Coles/News staff)

Members of the mosque shared food and water with the crowd, taking time to connect with the hundreds who stood guard while they prayed. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Victoria Police Chief Del Manak shares a laugh with community members outside the Masjid Al-Iman mosque on Quadra Street. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Just Posted

RCMP identify dangerous driver from near head-on collision by Golden

Police say the extremely dangerous and illegal maneuver put multiple lives at risk

Morning Start: Big Bertha is the oldest cow to ever live

Your morning start for Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Kelowna glider pilot crashes in the Columbia Valley

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating the circumstances of the crash

MP Morrison pushes for accountability following federal fiscal update

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian says it is time to restart the economy

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. health officials pleased with likely extension of Canada-U.S. border closure

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the situation is ‘very serious in the United States’

Shuswap residents see aircraft dropping fire retardant in direction of Falkland

Wildfire BC says no fire, crews in two air tankers and a bird dog were just practising

Expansion project to nearly double the size of Okanagan school

“With 10 new classrooms on the way, students are one step closer to saying goodbye to portables”

Lifesaving Society urges caution after two drownings in Central Okanagan

The warning comes after a drowning incident on July 9

Children suffer swollen eyes, burns while playing at Lower Mainland spray park

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

‘Resistance’ from Interior Health puts races in Penticton on hold

It’s unknown if races planned for this weekend at the Penticton Speedway will take place

Fundraiser kick-started for Vernon woman battling tongue cancer

Woman’s four-year-old twins are the driving force behind her fight

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Most Read