A controversy has erupted over reports that the Southwest African nation of Angola has banned Islam and destroyed mosques. According to a report in the Moroccan newspaper la Nouvelle Tribune, Angolan officials confirmed the actions. Angola’s minister of culture, Rosa Cruz e Silva reportedly said: “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 website OnIslam.net reported:
According to several Angolan newspapers, Angola has banned Islam, condemning it as ‘illegal’ and taking first measures by destroying different mosques in the Southwest African nation . . . Silva’s comments were given during her visit last Tuesday to the 6th Commission of the National Assembly. She asserted that the decision was the latest is a series of efforts to ban ‘illegal’ religious sects. The minister added, in her answer to questions raised by the MPs of the 6th Commission of National Assembly, that the action will oblige the revision of law 2/04 of May 21, related to freedom of religious assembly, Angolan official news agency, Agencia Angola Press, reported.
OnIslam also stated that President José Eduardo dos Santos said on November 24,”This is the final end of Islamic influence in our country,” as quoted by Osun Defender newspaper, and that the provincial governor of Luanda, Bento Bento, said on a radio show, “radical Muslims are not welcome in Angola and the Angolan government is not ready for the legalization of mosques.” He also said that Angola would not welcome Muslims and that mosques would not be legalized by the government.
But on Monday Angolan officials at their embassy in Washington, D.C., denied Monday the reports, and insisted that the comments attributed to Angolan officials could not be proven.