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

North Cowichan considers extending tax payment deadline by two months. (File photo)
North Cowichan considers extending deadline for property tax payments

A two-month deadline extension to Sept. 1 gets three readings

John Horn is leaving his position as executive director of the Cowichan Housing Association. (File photo)
John Horn leaving Cowichan Housing Association

Will take on role as executive director of John Howard Society in Nanaimo

Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour has taken a medical leave of absence but expects to return soon. (Citizen file)
Chief William Seymour takes leave from office

Seymour will return once fully recovered

A cougar was sighted in the 500 block of Cedar Avenue in Duncan on May 6 at about 9:30 p.m. (Facebook)
Cougar sighted in residential Duncan

Spotted in the Cairnsmore neighbourhood

The Lake Cowichan branch of the Royal Bank of Canada is closing. (Google)
Lake Cowichan’s RBC branch will close in November

RBC says banking needs will still be met

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read