Casablanca- Two officials at the Angolan Embassy in the United States, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, denied yesterday that their country had banned Islam and dismantled mosques, according to International Business Times.
The first official who denied the ban argued that his country distances itself from interference in religious matters when he said that the Southwest African republic is “a country that does not interfere in religion.”
He further bragged about the country’s religious diversity, stating that there is freedom of religion in Angola.
He went on to explain that his country hosts followers of distinct religions, including Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Muslims and evangelical people.
The second official at the same Embassy doubted the credibility of reports regarding Angola’s ban of Islam.
“We’re reading about it just like you on the Internet. We don’t have any notice that what you’re reading on the Internet is true,” the official was quoted by the International Business Times as saying.
Both officials did not want to be identified.
Numerous news outlet, including MWN, reported on the alleged ban of Islam based on alleged statement of Angolan officials.
“This is the final end of Islamic influence in our country,” Angola President José Eduardo dos Santos was quoted by Nigeria’s Osun Defender newspaper as saying.
The Angolan minister of Culture, Rosa Cruz was quoted by the Moroccan newspaper La Nouvelle Tribune as saying that, “Regarding Islam, the legalization process has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. Therefore all mosques would be closed until further notice.”
According to IBTimes, the officials at the Angolan Embassy in Washington could not attest to the veracity of the comments attributed to the president and minister of culture.
According to the same source, initial reports about Angola’s dismantling of mosques used a picture that allegedly depicts the minaret of an Angolan mosque being destroyed in October 2012. Yet a close examination shows that the same photo was posted on January23, 2008 by the Housing & Land Rights Network to depict the destruction of Bedouin homes in Israel, which reinforces the hypothesis that the reports on the ban of Islam in Angola are inaccurate.
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