This story has been circulating on the Web, but I haven't seen it on any of the major news networks, so we'll have to wait and see how accurate the reports are.
According to the reports, in an effort to avoid the cycle of jihadist violence seen in countries like Nigeria, Angola has banned Islam.
If this turns out to be true, we will surely hear endless cries of "racism" and "Islamophobia," from all major news networks and countless politicians. At that point, we'll all have to wonder why there aren't cries of "racism" and "bigotry" against Saudi Arabia for its suppression of non-Muslim religions.
International Business Times—A number of news outlets have reported that Angola has "banned" Islam and started to dismantle mosques in a bold effort to stem the spread of Muslim extremism.
Weekly French-language Moroccan newspaper La Nouvelle Tribune published an article on Friday sourcing "several" Angolan officials, including the Southwest African nation's minister of culture, Rosa Cruz, who reportedly offered the following remarks, which have been translated from French: "The process of legalization of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. Their mosques would be closed until further notice."
The media reports have not described why Islam would need to be legalized, considering its presence in the country for many years.
OnIslam.net reports that the African economic news agency Agence Ecofin wrote that Cruz made the statement at an appearance last week before the 6th Commission of the National Assembly. The website goes on to note that, "According to several Angolan newspapers, Angola has become the first country in the world to ban Islam and Muslims, taking first measures by destroying mosques in the country."
Even Angola President José Eduardo dos Santos has weighed in on the controversy, as he was quoted in Nigeria's Osun Defender newspaper on Sunday as saying, "This is the final end of Islamic influence in our country," according to the OnIslam.net report. (Continue Reading.)
***UPDATE*** The Angolan Embassy in Washington is denying the reports:
Angola became a hot topic in the international media over the weekend, as news outlets around the world wrote about reports that the Southwest African nation had banned Islam and had begun to dismantle mosques.
But an official at the Angolan Embassy in Washington, D.C., who did not want to be identified while discussing the sensitive matter, said that there is no such ban, and that the reports are erroneous.
“The Republic of Angola … it’s a country that does not interfere in religion,” the official said via telephone Monday afternoon. “We have a lot of religions there. It is freedom of religion. We have Catholic, Protestants, Baptists, Muslims and evangelical people.” (Continue Reading.)