VICTORIA – Sending an out loud message of solidarity, more than 12,836 people donated on Sunday, January 28, to rebuild a mosque in Victoria, Texas after a fire tore through the complex.
“We will rebuild, with LOVE!” said the Facebook page of Victoria Islamic Center, with pictures showing a massive blaze and black smoke billowing over the structure.
Flames engulfed the Victoria Islamic Center, destroying the building in the predawn hours Saturday.
A GoFundMe campaign to rebuild the mosque has raised more than $500,000.
“The outpouring of love, kind words, hugs, helping hands and the financial contributions are examples of the true American Spirit,” a statement on the Go Fund Me page of the Victoria Islamic Center read.
Messages of support for the mosque have poured on the gofundme page.
“I’m an atheist and I am deeply saddened and disgusted by what was done to you. Religious freedom and freedom from persecution are fundamental rights!,” wrote Martin Wagner, who donated on the website.
Cody Cluff, who donated $27 to the campaign, wrote: “Many of your countrymen love and appreciate you and those of the Muslim faith. You are a beautiful part of our community, and I’m sorry for the hatred that was done on you. May you be blessed with courage, strength, and peace.”
Betsy Brune said: “We are so sorry about your mosque. We will stand up for our fellow Americans who simply want to live and worship as they please. This is the primary promise of our country.”
An ongoing investigation at the local and federal, including by the FBI, is being carried as the cause of the fire is yet to be determined.
Anti-Muslim attacks have been on the rise since the Nov. 8 election of Donald Trump into US presidency.
President Trump has been a vocal critic of government policies against what he calls “radical Islamic terrorism”, promising and implementing a number of measures against it.
They include an executive order banning refugee flow into the US from seven Muslim-majority countries and bringing “extreme vetting” to ID check procedures, as well as a proposal to have a Muslim registry.