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Police Investigate Fire at Texas Islamic Center

  • VOA News

A Houston Fire Department Arson Investigator inspects the scene following a fire at the Quba Islamic Institute in Houston, Texas, Feb. 13, 2015.

A Houston Fire Department Arson Investigator inspects the scene following a fire at the Quba Islamic Institute in Houston, Texas, Feb. 13, 2015.

Investigators in the southern U.S. state of Texas are looking at whether a fire that destroyed part of an Islamic center was intentionally set.

The blaze began early Friday at the Quba Islamic Institute in Houston, which includes a mosque and school.

No one was injured.

According to a statement by the center's staff on Facebook, "The investigators have made clear that the fire was not accidental."

"Let us be clear: the investigation is ongoing," the institute added. "Please do not spread hate; spread love, tolerance, and harmony, just as Prophet Muhammad did."

The space where the fire began was being used to store computer equipment and other material for a renovation project, the center said.

Attacks on Muslim communities

The Texas investigation comes amid increased scrutiny on attacks on Muslim communities.

Police in the state of North Carolina are looking into whether the fatal shootings of three young Muslims near a university campus last week were religiously motivated.

Authorities in Chapel Hill said the killings stemmed from a long-standing parking dispute, however friends and family of the victims have called the attack a hate crime.

One man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the case.

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