Houston Islamic Center Fire: Left-of-Center Media Jumping to Conclusions

Erin Burnett - CNN
CNN Screenshot

HOUSTON, Texas – Left-of-center media appears to quickly be jumping to conclusions about who may have started the fire at the Quba Islamic Institute. A member of the Islamic center told reporters that fire investigators told him an accelerant was found in the fire. Twitchy now leads with the following headline: CNN reports Islamic center fire intentional; ‘Tea party members are out here killing innocent people.’

The CNN report comes from CNN’s Erin Burnett who reported that the fire at the Islamic center in Houston is “a frightening and troubling incident, especially in light of the shooting in North Carolina this week” on Friday’s “OutFront.” Burnett cited a Houston Chronicle article and claimed the investigation concluded the fire was set intentionally. In actuality, no conclusion has been determined as to the cause of the fire. The very report Burnett cited states that Houston fire officials “had not yet confirmed the cause of the fire and had no further information to release.”

But even if the fire was intentionally set, there is still no evidence as to who set the fire or what the possible motivation for the fire might have been if it was intentionally set. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is already demanding a hate crime investigation. One might ask, “If it was a hate crime, why would a hater burn the storage building at the back of the complex instead of the mosque that is the symbol of what the person allegedly hates?”

Breitbart Texas reported on Friday evening that the building was used to store books, renovation supplies and furniture. Isn’t it possible that “renovation supplies” might include flammable liquids that would act as an accelerant?

It was cold in Houston on Friday morning when the fire broke out. Isn’t it possible that a homeless person broke into the building to stay warm and might have set a small fire to warm themselves?

And yes, it is also possible that a person who hates or fears Islam set the fire intentionally, but there is no evidence at this time to support that conclusion. But it is also possible that a person who supports and follows Islam set the fire to draw sympathy to Muslims or to distract from the brutal actions of ISIS.

Here are some of the tweets that appear in the Twitchy posting:

  • @EthanObama tweeted “I wonder what @Lawrence thinks of his Christians now”
  • @VaseCommunicant tweeted “KuKluxKlan”
  • @shehzilk tweeted “so are we calling it terrorism or what?”
  • @TheMoee tweeted “Terrorist attacks on Muslims continue to happen yet no mainstream media will feature and bring awareness to them”
  • @subaieuk tweeted “Suddenly all the world shut’s up when Muslim’s are being attacked based on religion”
  • @WickedBeaute tweeted “Tea party members are out here killing innocent people because of their religious beliefs. What about freedom of speech?”

All of this is despite the fact that no evidence exists pointing to an arsonist or a motivation for the fire. No conclusion has even been reached that arson happened. Any fire is frightening. And a fire at a religious facility is particularly troubling. But, investigations need to finish and factual conclusions need to be reached before pointing fingers at anyone occurs.

This article has been updated.

Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.


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