WATCH: In a crowd estimated at several thousand, Victorians gathered today to show solidarity and support for the city’s Muslim community.
Organized to honor the six victims of the Quebec City shooting Sunday, many sending a message of hope for the future.
Mary Griffin reports.
The crowd grew to three thousand.
All in support of Victoria’s Muslim community.
“Just wanting to show our support for people in our own community who are probably feeling pretty scared today.”
“Even though we don’t believe in same thing, we are human beings.
We need each other”
“We believe in each other.”
Hana Alqadafi arrived in Victoria seven years ago from Libya.
After Sunday’s shooting, she felt alone, and frightened.
But the outpouring of support for her community changed her mind.
“I feel the support.
I feel secure.
I feel I am home.
I can see the love in people’s eyes, their support, their hugs, their love.
“We live in a time when people try so very hard to divide us.
But it only brings us closer and makes us stronger”
Ismail Mohamed Nur, Imam for Victoria’s Masjid Al-Iman mosque, acknowledged the rise of Islamophobia.
But also the importance of unity.
“We live in a time when people so very hard to divide us.
But it only brings us closer and makes us stronger.
We are one community.
Regardless of religion, regardless of nationality.
All these things are put aside when it comes to helping the community, and making the community stronger.”
Victoria’s mayor Lisa Helps, echoed that sentiment.
“To our Muslim friends, neighbours, sisters and brothers, we love you.
We support you.
We stand beside you, side by side, shoulder to shoulder.
You are welcome here.
You belong here.
We are your community.”
True patriot love, in all our sons’ commands.”
Sandra Stott and Janet Besler both said it’s important to show solidarity.
“It’s very important for us to gather, and show that we are all Children of God.
And that we need to recognize that.
“Almost every religion has a golden rule concept.
And if we follow that.”
“The world would be a better place.”