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Just the beginning: Mosque in Texas catches fire soon after Trump’s order on Muslim ban – Video

“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 Mustafa Carroll said.

 

(VICTORIA, Texas) –Hours after Trump banned Muslim countries, rise in the spark of his hatred was witnessed when an Islamic Center in Texas, caught fire on Saturday early morning.

It had also been a target of hatred since several years. The mosque had experienced burglary just a week ago.

A witness spotted smoke and flames arousing from the Islamic Center of Victoria at around 2 a.m. and called the fire department.

“It’s sad to stand there and watch it collapse down, and the fire was so huge,” Shahid Hashmi, the Islamic center’s president, said.

“It looks completely destroyed.”

Victoria Fire Marshal Tom Legler asked for help from the Texas Fire Marshal’s Office and Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to determine what caused the blaze.

Hashmi said authorities have told him it was too early to speculate.

“None whatsoever right now,” the center director said.

“We don’t have any lead or information as to what started the fire and what happened. So I’m sure it’s going to be a few days, they told us, before they can come up with any answers for us.”

“The Imam who was awake in the early morning hours checked online surveillance of the mosque and found no alarm active and the doors unlocked,” Hashmi said.

“He was worried about it and drove over there,” Hashmi said.

“By that time, fire engines were already there pouring water on the fire.”

The structure was built in 2000.

It took about four hours to extinguish the blaze.

Hashmi, who has been living in Victoria for the past 32 years, said the congregation of about 140 has had few other problems and has enjoyed support from the city of about 115 miles southwest of Houston. He already has received offers of temporary quarters for the congregation to worship.

“When 9/11 happened, Muslims and non-Muslims, we all got together,” he said. “Of course, we will rebuild.”

“In July 2013, a man admitted to painting “H8,” a computer shorthand for “hate,” on the outside of the building,” The Victoria Advocate reported.

On Jan. 7, a mosque under construction near Lake Travis in Austin was burned to the ground.

“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.