Jews in Victoria, Texas are allowing Muslim worshippers to use their synagogue after the town's mosque burned down.
The Victoria Islamic Center was mysteriously destroyed by fire on Saturday, January 28. A clerk at a convenience store discovered the blaze at around 2am and immediately informed the fire department.
It is the only mosque within the town, and now, thanks to their Jewish neighbors, they will still have a place to worship while they wait for its reconstruction.
“Jewish community members walked into my home and gave me a key to the synagogue,” said Shahid Hashmi, a surgeon who also happened to be one of the mosque's founders when it was built way back in 2000.
On January 29, an interfaith event was held in front of the mosque. Through local donations and a GoFundMe page, over $900,000 was raised within a span of one day to fund the reconstruction of the mosque!
"Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the tremendous support we’ve received. The outpouring of love, kind words, hugs, helping hands and the financial contributions are examples of the true American spirit," Omar Rachid, the creator of the mosque's GoFundMe page, said.
“Everyone knows everybody, I know several members of the mosque, and we felt for them,” said Robert Loeb, President of Bnai Israel. He also pointed out that, “this is sad for everyone in the community and as Jews we especially have to feel for the Muslim community. When a calamity like this happens, we have to stand together."
He also explained that sharing the worship space with their Muslim neighbors made a lot of sense. “We have probably 25 to 30 Jewish people in Victoria, and they probably have 100 Muslims. We got a lot of building for a small amount of Jews.”
Now if only everyone thought like that.