The Muslims still remember how hundreds of Victoria residents visited the ruins of their burned mosque in a show of solidarity and unity.
VICTORIA, Texas – One year and eight months after the destruction of the mosque in a fire, the members of the Victoria Islamic Center will open their doors next Saturday to celebrate the new worshipping house and express gratitude to the supporting community.
“We want to express our appreciation, our indebtedness and our gratitude for all they have done,” Omar Rachid, Victoria resident, and congregation member, told Victoria Advocate.
“We have lived up to the promise of rebuilding.”
The mosque was set on fire on January 28, 2017.
Marq Vincent Perez, who was found guilty of federal hate crime and arson charges in July, is to be sentenced Oct. 2.
Rachid still remembers how hundreds of Victoria residents visited the ruins of the burned mosque in a show of solidarity and unity.
“They assured us of a better tomorrow,” said Omar Rachid, Victoria resident, and congregation member, adding, “It was really emotional. I cried when I started seeing familiar faces.”
Construction of the new mosque began soon after a May 2017 groundbreaking and was completed in late August. Victoria architect Rawley McCoy created the design with the Cuero firm Weaver and Jacobs managing construction of the $1.8 million project.
“I’m outstandingly pleased with the work that has been done,” Rachid said.
“We could not have asked for a better facility or a better worship center. It is really just beautiful.”
Showing appreciations to the community, Muslims will open the doors of their mosque next Saturday, September 29.
Mosque members also have invited the 25,000 donors from more than 90 countries who collectively donated more than $1.1 million to the reconstruction through a stunning Gofundme.com campaign.
The event will kick off at 5 pm with short speeches from mosque members followed by a presentation of tokens of appreciation