Texas Mosque Burned to the Ground; $900,000 Raised to Rebuild-Truth!

Texas Mosque Burned to the Ground; $900,000 Raised to Rebuild-Truth! 

Summary of eRumor:
A Texas mosque burned to the ground in January 2017, and within days a fundraising effort generated $900,000 to help rebuild.
The Truth:
A Texas mosque burned to the ground on January 28, 2017, and an outpouring of support had led to $900,000 in donations to rebuild the mosque within days.
The Texas mosque, which was located in Victoria, was “completely destroyed” by an early morning blaze that caused no injuries, Time reports:

“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 congregation’s pastor, known as an imam, was awake in the early morning hours and checked online surveillance of the mosque and found no alarm active and the doors unlocked, Hashmi said. On Jan. 21, someone broke in and stole some electronics, including laptops.

“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.

No injuries were reported. It took about four hours to extinguish the blaze.

The mosque hadn’t had any issues with the local community, aside from a teenager spray painting “H8” on an outside wall of the mosque in 2013, local paper the Victoria Advocate reports. However, the Islamic Center of Lake Travis in Austin, which was in the process of being built, was burned to the ground earlier in the month, fueling speculation of hate-inspired arson. Local officials have urged people not to speculate during the course of the investigations.

Within days of the latest Texas mosque burning to the ground, however, a fundraising campaign organized through Go Fund Me had raised $900,000 to support the construction of a new mosque in Victoria. Fundraiser organizers posted on the page:

Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the tremendous support we’ve received. The outpouring of love, kind words, hugs, helping hands and the financial contributions are examples of the true American Spirit.

We’re so very much thankful and appreciative of everyone’s thoughtfulness.

Based on rough engineering estimates and the original cost of construction, we’ve revised the goal to be closer to the amount it’s going to cost to rebuild the mosque.

Any donation is greatly appreciated.

Help Spread the Word!

So, reports of a Texas mosque burning to the ground is true. Also true is an outpouring of support for the reconstruction of the mosque.