Leatherneck Blogger

Muslim leader defends Trump immigration order after mosque burns down

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By Christine Williams
Jihad Watch
February 2, 2017

The fierce opposition against Trump has led to him being scapegoated for any and every mishap that occurs in mosques or against Muslims. Yet Shaid Hashmi, president of the Victoria Islamic Center, is not eager to blame Trump nor declare victimhood, unlike many leftists and Islamic supremacists:

Hashmi remains convinced the blaze wasn’t a hate crime. And he wants people to stop claiming it was.

We don’t know the situation right now … don’t know if it was set intentionally or if it was an accident.”

The West is in a precarious position: one need only look at the surging crime rate in Europe and ongoing threats of jihad attacks to appreciate how severely Western countries are threatened by jihad and Islamic supremacism. This calamitous trend demands that leaders step up to the plate and do their jobs to protect Western citizens. They are still largely avoiding doing this, while President Trump has made it a top priority. And remember, it was Obama who selected the seven Muslim countries that Trump listed in his temporary visa moratorium. Hashmi is not angry about that moratorium, either:

Hashmi said he has no problems with the executive order. He described it as Trump’s way of thinking “of security for the country,” even though he also stressed that he doesn’t want all Muslims to be labeled as terrorists or “bad” people.

If this case does turns out to be a hate crime against Hashmi’s mosque, then the perpetrators should be brought to justice, as should the murderer in the Quebec city mosque rampage, following a complete investigation. It is also imperative to distinguish when such individuals are acting for reasons of their own, as opposed to those who are fueled by religious zeal, acting out religious edicts or invoking religious texts to commit crimes against humanity, stemming from a belief system that encourages them to do so for a heavenly reward.

“After Texas Mosque Burned Down, Leader Defends Trump Immigration Ban”, by Sherley Boursiquot, International Business Times, February 1, 2017:

The Muslim community in Victoria, Texas, holds a communal dinner every Friday night at the Victoria Islamic Center and last week was no different. They ate, cleaned up and headed home prepared to return the following day for prayer. But when members arrived the next morning, they find their beloved mosque gutted and charred.

“The entire building was destroyed,” Shaid Hashmi, president of the Victoria Islamic Center, told International Business Times.

Saturday’s fire came hours after President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering U.S. soil. The mosque’s destruction made national headlines after some assumed the fire was caused by individuals who sided with Trump’s decision.

But after months of Muslims leaders around the nation sounding the alarm about growing incidents of hate crime and Trump’s increasingly divisive rhetoric toward Islam, Hashmi remains convinced the blaze wasn’t a hate crime. And he wants people to stop claiming it was.

“It could perhaps be an electrical problem from inside,” he said. “We don’t know the situation right now … don’t know if it was set intentionally or if it was an accident.”

Trump’s executive order last week restricting people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from traveling to the U.S. has sparked demonstrators across the nation, with protesters calling the ban inhumane and racist. Democratic lawmakers and 16 attorneys generals released a statement condemning the order as unconstitutional. Some Republicans, including Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have also criticized the order, while Washington, Massachusetts and New York plan to sue the Trump administration over the policy.

But Hashmi said he has no problems with the executive order. He described it as Trump’s way of thinking “of security for the country,” even though he also stressed that he doesn’t want all Muslims to be labeled as terrorists or “bad” people.

“The president has chosen to restrict certain countries, he is our president. I respect his decision, unless if it comes to the point where it will hurt innocent people, then we won’t support that,” he said. “Just because Muslims made the terrorist attack in the past that doesn’t mean every Muslim is bad. It’s not religious fault; it’s those people who are not following their true fate. Muslims are good people.”

Asked if he had any suspicions about whether someone might have caused the arson after Trump’s order, Hashmi demurred. “I’m not going to get political about it. There is no reason to get political about it at all,” he said.

Hasmi’s mosque counts about 100 members in Victoria, a small city about 125 miles southwest of Houston. Emergency workers arrived at the mosque Saturday after a neighbor called the fire department when he noticed smoke and flames coming out from the structure. The mosque’s imam, Osama Hassan, woke up randomly from his sleep and checked the online surveillance of the mosque on his phone. He saw the doors were unlocked, Hashmi said. When Hassan went down to the mosque, he noticed the fire department was already outside trying to tame the blaze.

Hassan, who spent most of his time at the mosque, called Hashmi to tell him about the fire. “He was crying like a child when he called me,” said Hashmi.

The mosque opened in 2000 and is the only gathering place for local Muslims. Its small membership is a good fit because Victoria is a “small city, everything is near,” Hasmi said.

Victoria is 79 percent white, 43 percent Latino or Hispanic, 6 percent black and 10 percent some other race, according to U.S. Census data. In 2000, 271 Muslims were living in the area, which is known for its agricultural and industrial economy.

People in the community “have been very good to us, and we have been good to them,” said Hasmi, a surgeon who has lived in the area for 32 years and claims to have performed surgery on most of the city’s residents. He said he has never experienced any discrimination personally in the community. In fact, after the fire, neighbors offered up a temporary place for Muslims to continue their religious services, Hashmi said…..

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