Mosque Targeted For Hate Crime Offers Space To Displaced Churchgoers

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Victoria Muslim Center in Texas opened its door for displaced churchgoers after a car plowed into the church building, mimicking the courtesy shown to them by churches in 2017.

 

Texas’ Victoria Muslim Center was enveloped in a fire in 2017 in what was suspected to be an arson attack. The tragic incident, however, brought the community closer.

Last year, when local Muslims were left with no place to worship, many churches reportedly opened their doors for them, while the mosque renovated. This time around, the Victoria Muslim Center has returned the favor.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Victoria suffered extensive damage after a car crashed into the building, it was then, the Muslim community members opened their doors to them, offering them to use the mosque for as long as they liked.

Almost 30 members of the local church attended the Sunday morning worship service in the auxiliary building on the Victoria Islamic Center’s property.

The Islamic center’s treasurer, Abe Ajrami, asked the churchgoers to treat the place as they would their own.

“You can use this place as long as you want — as many Sundays as you wish,” he said. “When you’re finished, just turn out the lights.”

The church building suffered extensive damage after a car crashed into it. The driver apparently lost control of his vehicle as a result of a collision with another car. And even though, no one was harmed in the incident, the Unitarian Universalist churchgoers lost their space to worship.

The Islamic center’s act of generosity came as they try to rebuild their own building after it lit up in flames in 2017. Marq Vincent Perez was charged with a hate crime for setting fire to the religious space. The incident occurred mere hours after President Donald Trump’s initial travel ban on Muslims.

 The Go Fund Me page for the mosque’s renovation raised over $1 million. While the main building is still not fully accessible, the Muslims worship in a portable building. A similar page has now been set up for the church as they look to collect funds to restore their building.

“It was a sacred space,” Manuel Zamora, the church’s president, said about his congregation’s building. “We have a lot of history there.”

The Unitarian Universalist Church is reportedly one of the churches that offered Muslims their space to carry out their religious activities. And now the Victoria Islamic Center is continuing what they call “the cycle of love.”

Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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