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

Greater Victoria woman creates ‘call list’ for seniors to tackle loneliness

Call list allows seniors to have some friendly conversation during isolating times

Saanich’s Shelbourne corridor work set to start despite pandemic

Municipal work is deemed an essential service, keeping the long-term project on track

Report looks at COVID-19’s impact on violence in the family

Police across Canada reported almost 100,000 cases of intimate partner violence in 2018

Royal Athletic Park will not be a shelter site during COVID-19 crisis: Victoria mayor

Indoor sites to be coordinated with Island Health, BC Housing

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. asking companies to contribute through online COVID-19 supply hub

New platform to co-ordinate, source, expedite supplies and equipment to support front-line workers

Controls can keep Canadian COVID-19 deaths under 22,000, health agency says

With poor containment measures, the death toll could be much, much higher, the agency says

People needing addictions services feel ‘abandoned’ during pandemic, B.C.’s ex-top doctor says

Widespread job losses and more homelessness due to physical distancing at shelters have added hurdles

Canada lost 1,011,000 jobs in March, unemployment rate up to 7.8%: StatCan

Unemployment rate hits levels not seen since 2010

COVID-19 world update: 6.6 million U.S. jobless claims; alcohol sales banned in Bangkok

Comprehensive digest of coronavirus news items from around the world

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Most Read