The Houston Fire Department says it is investigating an attempted arson at a mosque over the weekend, after two masked men reportedly poured gasoline on prayer rugs and attempted to set them on fire.
The fire was started early Saturday morning at Madrasah Islamiah mosque in southwest Houston, by masked men caught on camera fleeing the scene. They had broken into the building through the back, and according to mosque member Atif Fattah: “They came through here, sprayed gasoline all over the carpet and just torched it.”
“There wasn’t significant damage,” he said. “It was the act itself that’s scary.”
From KHOU News:
The Houston Fire Department said there’s no question this was a case of arson. Whether it was an actual hate crime has yet to be determined. The FBI and ATF are following the investigation, but at this point, they’re not actively involved.
The Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations has called on the FBI to investigate the incident as a hate crime. “The number of recent incidents targeting American Muslims points to a disturbing nationwide trend that needs to be addressed by political and religious leaders at the national level,” National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper said in a statement.