Hours after President Trump signed an Executive Order banning refugees from seven Mid-East countries that are predominantly Muslim, a mosque in Victoria, Texas was burned to the ground.
Flames engulfed the Islamic Center of Victoria, destroying the building in the predawn hours this morning as congregation members watched from the curb, overcome with emotion.
“It’s a house of worship,” Shahid Hashmi told the Victoria Advocate. Hashmi, president of the center, watched the flames from across the street.
Members of the mosque had planned to complete the day’s remaining calls to prayer at the destroyed building this morning, but fire investigators would not allow them near the burnt-out building while the cause of the fire is being investigated.
“They said it … is a restricted area for now for the investigation,” Hashmi said. “So, we just prayed right here on this” sidewalk.
And, members of the Victoria community, of all faiths, are invited to join members of the Victoria Islamic Center at 10 a.m. Sunday at the site of the destroyed mosque for a prayer service, he said.
Although Hashmi said the mosque was burglarized Jan. 21, he was unwilling to speculate that the fire was the result of arson.
Ed Diokno writes a blog :Views From The Edge: news and analysis from an Asian American perspective.