Islam Banned in Angola
While the constitution in Angola guarantees freedom of religion to all of its citizens, this right no longer seems to apply to the followers of the now banned religion of Islam. According to numerous newspapers in Angola, the African nation has banned the Islamic religion. It has become the first country in the world to take such a harsh stance against Muslims.
On November 22, the Angolan Minister of Culture Rosa Cruz e Silva said that “[t]he process of legalization of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights [and so] their mosques would be closed until further notice.” Why the religion needs to be legalized has not been definitively stated by Cruz e Silva.
Cruz e Silva has also said that the closing of mosques is the most recent move in Angola’s effort to but a stop to so-called illegal religious sects. Under new laws in Angola, many religious sects have suddenly become criminal.
On November 24, Angola President José Eduardo dos Santos said that the country is working toward putting an end to Islamic influence in Angola once and for all. Again, there is no word of what or who has been influenced and why it needs to stop.
The Governor of Luanda, Bento Bento, has said that “radical” Muslims are not welcome in the country and that the Angolan government will not be legalizing mosques or other places of worship for Muslims.
When I first came across this, I refused to believe it. Then I kept reading and researching and my heart is breaking. I truly hope I am wrong and this is not happening. More attention needs to be paid to the political situation in Angola.