BEVERLY HILLS, CA, November 25, (THEWILL) – The Angolan government has ordered the shutdown of all mosques and declared that Islam is illegal in the country, according to news reports.
The Weekly French-language Moroccan newspaper, La Nouvelle Tribune, in a post last week cited several officials in the Angolan government including the country’s Culture Minister, Rosa Cruz who was quoted to have 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 move is clearly an effort by the government to stem the spread of Muslim extremism, analysts contacted for comments on the development told THEWILL on Monday.
Another online news site, OnIslam.net, which quoted several Angolan national newspapers, said Cruz stated government’s position when he appeared last week before the 6th Commission of Angolan National Assembly.
“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,” the website wrote.
Governor Bento Francisco Bento of Luanda province, also reportedly said that “radical Muslims were not welcome in Angola and that the government was not ready to legalize the presence of mosques in the country,”
Unconfirmed reports say that mosques across the vast southern African nation were being destroyed following the “ban of Islam” in the country.
Angola has a population of about 16 million people with over 95 percent of the population made up of Christians.
The United State Government puts the number of Angolan Muslims at between 80, 000 – 90, 000.