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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

The Skinny Genes Foundation is raising awareness and funds for a rare genetic disorder that claimed both his father and uncle.
NHL players, local businesses help Kootenay man raise funds and awareness for rare genetic disease

Signed NHL jerseys and local business donations up for auction in Skinny Genes Foundation fundraiser

The Columbia Basin Trust has announced grants for biodiversity initiatives. Photo: Submitted
Columbia Basin Trust announces ecosystem protection grants

Three projects are sharing a $1.35-million grant

Remi Drolet
Rossland skier competes at World Nordic ski championship

Remi Drolet was selected to Team Canada and will race at the 2021 FIS World Nordic Ski Championships

good lookin
West Kootenay pet shop owner petitions for end to pet mills

“Our companion animal laws are pretty lax right now, we need to bring more awareness to help SPCA”

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read