As has happened throughout the Middle East for fourteen centuries following every successive Muslim conquest, Christian churches are either destroyed, or converted into mosques.
The removal of the cross last July from the Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Ephrem is standard Islamic practice, as the Christian symbol is not permitted in Muslim lands. The Islamic State is not alone in this practice; the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly called for the destruction of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula (see here and here), in accordance with Muhammad's command: “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim” (Hadith from Sahih Muslim 19.4366).
Muhammad even prophesied that the prophet Isa (the Islamic name for Jesus) would return in the end times and break all the crosses (i.e., destroying all churches), abolishing Christianity, as cited in this apocalyptic hadith popular among devout Muslims:
Isa will “fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill the swine and abolish jizya” and establish the rule of Allah throughout the world. (Hadith from Sunan Abu Dawud, Book of Battles, 37:4310)
Mosul is a sign of the Middle East of the 21st century, the final stage of religious cleansing conducted by the followers of Muhammad since the early 7th century.
Islamic militants announce plan to transform Mosul church into mosque
by Laura Ieraci, CNS via Pravmir — June 8, 2015
According to Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Islamic State militants posted notices throughout the city announcing that the Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Ephrem, which they emptied last fall, will reopen soon as the “mosque of the mujahideen” or jihad fighters.
The news came just before the one-year anniversary of the capture of Mosul by Islamic State fighters June 10.
Fides said the militants’ intention to convert the church into a mosque became clear when they removed the cross from the church’s dome, chose the adjacent buildings to house the headquarters of their “state council” last July, and emptied the church of its furnishings and put them on sale in November.
Mosul, located in northern Iraq, was once Iraq’s second-largest city with a significant Christian population. The city is now empty of Christians. Thousands have sought refuge in Irbil in Iraq’s semi-autonomous region, Kurdistan; an unknown number of Christians have been killed.