Hours after Trump’s travel ban took effect, someone burned down a small-town Texas mosque

Source: BuzzFeed News

Hours after Trump’s travel ban took effect, someone burned down a small-town Texas mosque. Since then, the mosque has drawn $1 million in donations and countless rosy headlines — so why are its members still terrified?

VICTORIA, Texas — The Muslims watching from across the street saw the mosque disappear slowly, the flames creeping over the roof and licking the copper domes before turning the heart of their community into ash.

Abed Ajrami, 50, a longtime member of the mosque, stood with friends behind the firefighters’ cordon as a light rain began to fall, mixing with their tears. He took a photo of the blaze and posted it on Facebook.

“We will rebuild, with LOVE!” Ajrami wrote as the caption.

Victoria Islamic Center / Facebook / Via Facebook: permalink.php

That message at that moment — early Jan. 28, hours after President Donald Trump signed a travel ban targeting Muslims — made the news of a suspicious fire in a small Texas town go viral, attracting more attention than the 35 or so other incidents of threats, vandalism, and arson at US mosques since January. The mosque was still smoldering when a GoFundMe appeal went up, eventually drawing more than $1 million in a week, from 23,000 donors in 90 countries.

 

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