Less than a day after Trump signed his executive order that banned citizens from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States for at least 90 days, a mosque in Southern Texas was set on fire and burned to the ground.
The mosque, named the Islamic Center of Victoria, is located 125 miles from Houston and supports about 100 local Muslims. The mosque has been the target of hatred before (in 2013 a man sprayed painted “H8” on the front door) and was burglarized just a week ago.
The fire was set around 2 a.m. local time. Smoke and flames were spotted by a clerk at a nearby convenience store.
According to the fire marshal, Tom Legler, the cause of the fire is unknown. He is asking for anyone with information to come forward and has also reached out to the Texas Fire Marshal’s Office and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to help with the investigation.
The center’s president, Shahid Hashmi, watched helplessly as the mosque was burned to the ground: “It’s sad to stand there and watch it collapse down, and the fire was so huge. It looks completely destroyed.”
A GoFundMe has been started to help gain financial support to rebuild the mosque.