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While Osteen’s Megachurch Is Closed, Houston Mosques Open Doors to Flood Victims

While Osteen’s Megachurch Is Closed, Houston Mosques Open Doors to Flood Victims

Source: Revere Press by S. Nicholson

Houston televangelist and pastor at the Lakewood megachurch Joel Osteen has been largely MIA from the response to Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Southeast Texas over the weekend.

He’s come under fire for shuttering his taxpayer-funded, former NBA arena church to those seeking refuge, dubiously using “flooding” as an excuse — even though plenty of images show otherwise — and is already seeking donations for his church and a shady partner organization run by fellow controversial evangelist Franklin Graham (Osteen’s* net worth is more than $56 million and fundraising is a large component of Lakewood Church) to provide unspecified aid.

Meanwhile, local Muslims and Muslim civic associations are out in the community providing aid to those in need, fundraising via a legitimate international disaster relief organization and several mosques have opened as public shelters.

Human rights activist, author and Muslim educator Qasim Rashid noted the juxtaposition.

For reference, this is the inside of Osteen’s church, which would be a suitable counterpart to the Superdome’s function as a shelter in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Rashid also noted that when Osteen’s church posted a list on social media of public shelters in the area affected by the massive storm, it left out all of the designated mosques — a move that does not seem to be unintentional.

Given that the country’s fifth richest pastor didn’t welcome into his church those seeking shelter from a storm that has displaced thousands as the death toll continues to rise — which seats more than 16,000 — Osteen shouldn’t be keeping vulnerable citizens from knowing where their nearest shelter might be.

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