Americans raise US$600k for razed Texas mosque

Modified 30 Jan 2017, 11:23 am

Americans have rallied behind a Muslim community in Texas, raising more than US$600,000 to help rebuild the Islamic Centre of Victoria, which was razed on Saturday.

The donations flowed through an online donation drive on the GoFundMe website, helping the community raise the bulk of its US$850,000 goal within 24 hours, Al Jazeera reported.

"It's incredible. We are very grateful," the mosque's president Dr Shahid Hashmi told Al Jazeera.

The campaign comes as chaos descends on major US airports when nationals of seven Muslim-majority nations on US President Donald Trump's new immigration ban list are barred from entering the country.

Trump signed the executive order on Friday barring citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen from entering the US for the next 90 days, and suspending admission of all refugees for 120 days.

He said this is to keep "radical Islamic terrorist out of the United States" but thousands have gathered at airports to protest the move.

It is reported that the administration is looking to facilitate refugees from Syria who are of Christian faith.

Citizens of the seven countries who are US visa holders are also denied entry and held at the airports amid the confusion, US media reported.

Meanwhile, Hashmi said the mosque was also offered assistance by the local synagogue and churches.

Local authorities are investigating the cause of the fire, Al Jazeera reported.

"I hope it wasn't a hate crime," Hashmi said.

Donors on the GoFundMe page said they chose to fund the mosque in the midst of anti-Islam and anti-refugee rhetoric as their ancestors were also refugees who arrived in the United States while fleeing persecution.

Others who identify as atheists note that religious freedom is a fundamental human right.

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