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Suspicious fire at mosque on Christmas Day

By Kavelle Christie     Dec 26, 2015 in World
Houston - Investigators with the Houston Fire Department are investigating a possible case of arson at a mosque in southeast Houston on Christmas Day.
Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the fire which ravaged the mosque located at S. Wilcrest Drive and West Bellfort Avenue had multiple points of origin.
Also according to officials, approximately 200 people were inside the mosque for prayers an hour before the fire started. No one was injured in the fire.
M.J. Khan of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston said the fire damaged everything inside the mosque, except for a holy Quran. He, however, maintained they would rebuild the mosque in the same location.
"This is a place of worship, we're not going to stop worshipping just because a fire breaks out," Khan told the media.
On Saturday afternoon, a steadfast group of worshippers gathered for daily prayers at a temporary space in the strip mall.
Other organizations have called on the authorities to treat the incident as a hate crime and bring the perpetrators to justice.
"Because of the recent spike in hate incidents targeting mosques nationwide, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this fire," said CAIR-Houston Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll.
According to reports, the ATF, the Houston Police Department and the Houston Fire Department's Arson Bureau are collecting evidence and interviewing people as part of an investigation into the suspicious incident.
"We want to reassure the public that we will conduct a complete and thorough investigation," the Houston Fire Department told the media on Saturday.
There have also been recent reports of vandalized mosques in California, Arizona and Georgia.
More about Houston, Arson, Fire, Muslim, Texas
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