Just a few hours after President Donald Trump signed his executive order banning the entry of citizens from seven Muslim nations into the United States and ending the Syrian refugee program, the terrifying consequences have made themselves all too clear.
Worshipers at the Victoria Islamic Center in Victoria, Texas, arrived for predawn prayers only to find their mosque burned to the ground. While police have not yet determined the cause of the fire, the fierceness of the blaze, the timing, and the fact that this mosque has been previously targeted by racists all point to an attack by domestic terrorists.
The Islamic Center of Victoria at 201 E. Airline Rd is fully engulfed in fire. A clerk at nearby Exxon station said he called 911 abt 2 a.m. pic.twitter.com/yc9akLNfnq
— Jon Wilcox (@thrilcox) January 28, 2017
The Victoria Mosque was burglarized just a week ago, and in 2013, a man admitted to spraypainting “H8” (shorthand for hate) on the outside wall.
This is the second mosque in Texas to burn in three weeks.
Now that white supremacy and Islamophobia has been legitimized and institutionalized by our racist-in-chief, we can only expect more and more of these heinous attacks as racist elements become emboldened. It falls to us as progressive Americans to make sure that Muslims in our communities know they are welcome and have our support; we must work together to protect the rights and the safety of all our citizens, no matter their race, creed, or nationality. Hate cannot be allowed to win.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.