SW Houston strip center owner gives Muslims new space to pray after mosque fire

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Members of a southwest Houston mosque are hoping fire investigators are wrong. They don't want to believe someone set the fire on purpose.

Usman Hasib goes there to pray daily and works in the same shopping center.

"That's a very scary thought, that if someone intentionally set it. We're still hoping that it is accidental, but if someone set it, then we have to be vigilant and be careful," Hasib said.

Investigators are classifying this fire as incendiary, which is the technical term for arson. The mosque has been a part of this community for years.

Imram Momin doesn't attend prayer services there, but his family owns the shopping center. He's allowing members of the mosque to use another office space to worship, to send a message to the person who set this fire.

"You know Islam is not about hate, it's not about whatever the idiots back home are talking about. It's about peace. It's about unity. It's about brother and sisterhood. So just to prove to whoever it is that you think you accomplished what you wanted, but you didn't. It still stands," Momin said.

Prayer services will continue at the office across the parking lot as long as necessary.

"We are committed to reopen this mosque as soon as we get clearance from the restoration people, and it will always be a place for people to find peace and tranquility," said MJ Khan with the Islamic Society of Greater Houston.

If an arson suspect is identified, this community says they will show compassion and forgiveness to that person.
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