A Texas mosque that was a target of hatred several years ago was destroyed by a fire on Saturday.
The Islamic Center of Victoria, which experience a burglary just a week ago, was reported to be on fire at around 2 am and was burning in flames when emergency services attended the scene, the Victoria Advocate reported.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, but the incident coincided with an executive order issued by the new U.S. President Donald Trump that bans refugees and immigrants of 7 Muslim majority countries from entering the United States.
“It's sad to stand there and watch it collapse down, and the fire was so huge,” said Shahid Hashmi, the Islamic center's president. “It looks completely destroyed.”
The local Muslim community held a public prayer service on the grass area of the center Saturday morning.
“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 center director said.
“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.