Community rallies around Victoria mosque after fire

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The community is rallying around a Victoria mosque that burned down in January.

It's not easy for Imam Osama Hassan to walk through his mosque.

"The first time I came here, it was very tough," he told Eyewitness News, walking through the burned out shell out the building that caught fire early Saturday, January 28. "We are praying it was an accident."

There is nothing left of the building. But in the gnarled ashes, Hassan said he and the men and women who worship here have found hope.

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The outpouring of love and support from the community, he explained, is overwhelming. It has renewed his faith in God and strengthened it in his neighbors. Ten different churches and even a synagogue have offered their help and opened their doors.

"Our heart is filled with rejoice, thankful to everyone who supports us," he said. "It makes the injury heal very fast. The way people support us and pray for us -- standing here, giving us hugs, love -- it makes it much easier on our heart."

They are digging a utility trench now to run power to what is their temporary majid. Instead of a free clinic, they'll use this space for prayer. For now, a flashlight and a jug of water help light the room and cleanse their hands before services.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Early-morning blaze destroys Victoria mosque

It is a new beginning. Imam Hassan says they will rebuild.

"We're going to build this building with love," he said.

As of Feb. 1, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms did not have a cause for the fire.

A GoFundMe campaign benefiting the mosque has already raised $1 million.
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