Americans raise over $1m in five days to rebuild burned down mosque

The community is rallying around

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The Independent US

Donations for the rebuilding of a burned down mosque in Texas have passed the $1m (£789,000) mark.

The Victoria Islamic Centre was destroyed on Saturday and since then the community in the city of some 62,000 has rallied behind its Muslim neighbours. Members of a synagogue lent a set of keys to allow them space to worship and several churches have reportedly opened their doors as well.

The blaze was discovered at at about 2am on Saturday by a clerk at a convenience store, who called the fire department. It took around four hours to bring it under control and no injuries were reported.

One donor wrote on the centre's fundraising page: "I'm an atheist and I am deeply saddened and disgusted by what was done to you. Religious freedom and freedom from persecution are fundamental rights!"

Robert Loeb, the president of Temple Bnai Israel whose members handed over the keys, said: "Everyone knows everybody, I know several members of the mosque, and we felt for them. When a calamity like this happens, we have to stand together.

"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."

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The Islamic centre, built in 2000, had previously been burgled, it was reported.