There’s also a dark side to the Texas obsession with fire, as when Texans burned black men at the stake, lynched for their alleged crimes, often erroneously.
So it should come as no surprised that Texans reached for their matchbooks when Donald Trump issued his infamous immigration ban.
from teleSUR English:
Just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States came into effect, a mosque in Texas was burned to the ground.
The Islamic Center of Victoria, near Houston, was completely gutted by the fire as flames engulfed it at around 2:00 a.m. local time early Saturday morning.
“It’s a house of worship,” said Islamic Center of Victoria President Shahid Hashmi in an interview with the Victoria Advocate. “They said it … is a restricted area for now for the investigation, so, we just prayed right here on this sidewalk.”
According to local fire marshal Tom Legler, the cause of the fire is currently unknown. But the Muslim advocacy organization CAIR said there is a strong possibility it is a hate crime.
“Because of growing anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation, and because of the recent spike in hate incidents targeting Islamic institutions and individuals, we urge investigators to keep the possibility of a bias motive for this fire in mind,” CAIR-Houston Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll said, as reported by US Uncut.
This isn’t the first time the mosque has been targeted. It was robbed last week, and in 2013 a man admitted to spray-painting “H8,” short for “hate” on its walls.
“It’s sad to stand there and watch it collapse down, and the fire was so huge,” Hashmi reflected. “It looks completely destroyed.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to aid in efforts to rebuild the mosque. In just a few hours, it has reached half of its US$850,000 goal.