Source: USA Today
By Julie Garcia, Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller-Times
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For members of the Islamic Society of Southern Texas, a mosque fire in Victoria “hit too close to home.”
“A mosque in a Muslim community … it’s literally the heart of our community,” said Fiona Tagari, a member of the Corpus Christi mosque. “A lot of us are immigrants. We don’t have families here, so it’s where we make our families. Congregants become extended families.”
Local members, including Dr. Samer Jifi Bahlool, traveled back and forth to the site of the Victoria Islamic Center on Saturday and again Sunday after news broke an early morning fire destroyed the mosque.
Jifi Bahlool said the Victoria’s center is a sister mosque to Corpus Christi.
“Yesterday was very shocking. A lot of members were crying, including the imam (prayer leader),” he said said. “It was somber feeling. Seeing their mosque, and then all of a sudden, there’s nothing left of it.”