Faith groups come together for Syrian refugee families

Event takes place this Saturday, Oct. 31 at the Masjid Al-Iman Mosque, 2218 Quadra St.

  • Oct. 30, 2015 5:00 p.m.

Imam Ismail Nur

Kendra Wong

Black Press

Members of Victoria’s Muslim and Christian communities are coming together to help bring Syrian refugee families to Victoria.

For the first time, the Masjid Al-Iman mosque joins the Oak Bay and St. Aidan’s United churches to hold a joint event this weekend in hopes of drawing attention to the refugee crisis in Syria.

Rev. Michelle Slater, with the Oak Bay United Church, said members of the congregation were moved to action after seeing images of three-year-old Alan Kurdi’s body washed up on a Turkish beach. Kurdi drowned after the boat his family was on from Turkey to Greece capsized.

The photo, which surfaced in September, has since garnered international attention and ignited communities across the world to help refugees.

“We were not only shocked, but felt deeply called to do something concrete,” Slater said, adding the partnership gives members the chance to learn more about the Muslim faith and build community relationships.

“We immediately thought that the Muslim community would be a vital ally in the work because we assume that most refugees from Syria and the Middle East are Muslim in faith and will need that kind of spiritual support.”

The group hopes to sponsor two or three families to Victoria, by not only providing financial support for living expenses (they’ve raised more than $58,000 so far), but also expertise in English as a second language training, childcare and helping people negotiate the medical system.

They’ve also committed to provide furniture, household goods, clothing, food and other basics when the families arrive.

Imam Ismail Nur said the event acts both as a fundraiser and as a way of bringing awareness to the refugee crisis.

“At the end of the day, what really matters is helping people in need because these are real people, real lives, and our action and inaction affects those kinds of people in that situation,” he said.

“We agreed that even though Christians and Muslims, they have their differences but the things that bring us together far outweigh those differences and one of those things is helping people in need.”

The event takes place this Saturday, Oct. 31, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Masjid Al-Iman Mosque (2218 Quadra St.) and will include speakers from the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society and the British Columbia Muslim Association as well as a tour of the mosque.

 

 

Just Posted

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

SD62 student places third in province-wide French competition

12-year-old Sasha Zandieh won third with a speech on poet Pablo Neruda

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Jesse Roper learns to create fire in the wild, in Sacred Knowledge web series

Ragnarock Studios production shares primitive skills with Islanders

Island athlete goes from hoop dreams to icy track

Cyrus Gray hopes to punch his ticket to Olympics in bobsleigh

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read