City Board in Syracuse, NY, Gives Muslim Group Approval to Remove Crosses from Catholic Church in Order to Convert Building Into a Mosque

Mark Cass and Mirza Tihic, of the North Side Learning Center, listen to people speak for and against their plan to remove crosses from the former Holy Trinity Church and turn it into a mosque. The city will allow them to remove the crosses. (Marnie Eisenstadt, Syracuse.com)
Mark Cass and Mirza Tihic, of the North Side Learning Center, listen to people speak for and against their plan to remove crosses from the former Holy Trinity Church and turn it into a mosque. The city will allow them to remove the crosses. (Marnie Eisenstadt, Syracuse.com)

A city board in upstate New York has given a Muslim group the go-ahead to remove six crosses from the roof and spires of a century-old former Catholic church so the now-vacant Gothic structure can be used as a mosque.

More than 200 people had signed an online petition calling on the Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board to deny an application by North Side Learning Center, the church’s new owner, to remove the crosses and build a six-foot chain-link fence.

Board Chairman Don Radke the board cannot interfere with a decision that involves religious freedom. The board voted Thursday to allow the church alterations.

The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that (http://bit.ly/1mDNxfs ) about a dozen people who spoke at the meeting were evenly divided for and against the church conversion.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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