Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Church To Be Converted Into Mosque In Chicago
A proposal to turn an abandoned church into a mosque in the suburbs of Chicago is now facing opposition from a few locals. The American Muslim Society (MAS) has bought the vacant First Church of Christ, on 12300 S 80th Avenue in Palos Park, Illinois, hoping to open it in summer. The Muslim community is growing rapidly and another worship place is needed to serve it. On the other hand, anonymous brochures were distributed to homes near the the proposed Palos Park site warning that mosque in the area would weaken home values and create traffic problems. The flyers were left in mail boxes and in some cases on the doorsteps. The MAS officials said they want to utilize a building that already has government approval to be used as religious centre. A spokesman for MAS and a vice president of Bridgeview View Mosque Foundation Osama Jamal said, " We have no problem with people expressing thir opinion and we welcome the opinions. We want to meet with our neighbors, though, and explain who we are and what we want to do. We are Americans just like them." He explained the Muslim community chose the building not only because it was vacant and for sale, because it was already 'zoned'--government approved, to be used for religious purposes. Religious institutions get special government benefits.