Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Angolan Embassy Officials Deny Ban On Islam and Destruction of Mosques

People were cheering Angola for allegedly banning Islam and promising to destroy mosques this past weekend, but that joy was short-lived since it's apparently not true. At least according to the Angolan Embassy in Washington, D.C. The anonymous Embassy official said of the allegations:

“The Republic of Angola … it’s a country that does not interfere in religion. We have a lot of religions there. It is freedom of religion. We have Catholic, Protestants, Baptists, Muslims and evangelical people.”

Another Embassy official told IBTimes:

“At the moment, we don’t have any information about that. 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.”

As is often the case, there was much questionable information regarding the whole issue, including a suspect photo of a dismantled mosque. The African press (including the Osun Defender)- which broke the story- supposedly quoted the president of the Christian-majority country, José Eduardo dos Santos, saying:

"This is the final end of Islamic influence in our country."
But that info came from a Muslim website

But he was not even in the country when he was quoted as saying that.

But then you have this:

Weekly French-language Beninese newspaper La Nouvelle Tribune published an article on Friday sourcing "several" Angolan officials, including the 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."

However, one of the Embassy sources has said he knows nothing about Cruz making those comments.

“I cannot confirm if the Minister of Culture said that. I cannot find that in our press."

So, no-one knows for sure whether any of this actually was said. The Embassy officials deny any knowledge, but that means nothing.

It could just be a case of wishful thinking.

And more denials from the Angolan government.

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