Monday, November 25, 2013

Angola Embassy in Washington in the Dark about "Ban" on Islam -UPDATED

International Business Tribune:

A second official at the Angolan Embassy in the U.S. reiterated that the diplomatic seat has not been made aware of any ban on Islam in the country.

“At the moment we don’t have any information about that,” the official told IBTimes via phone on Monday. “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.”

In light of the news that 60 mosques have been closed, I still think there's something to this story.

The government of Angola might not use the word "ban" but restrictions appear to be in place.

UPDATE at 4:57 pm:

The Cairo Post talks about the mosque closures and the targeting of Muslims in Angola:

While the Angolan government is citing legal technicalities for the closures and demolitions, the Angolan Constitution guarantees freedom of conscience, worship and religion as inviolable rights. It declares that the secular state of Angola “shall protect [...] places and objects of worship” (article 10).

However, religious groups are required to apply for legal status with the Ministries of Justice and Culture to secure, among other benefits, the right to build schools and places of worship. One requirement to qualify for legal status is a minimum membership of 100,000 adult adherents. The Central Mosque of Luanda, which represents Angola’s Muslim community, has reportedly come close to meeting the membership requirement, but has not yet obtained legal status. The 2008 International Religious Freedom Report explained that the “Muslim community in particular is affected by this numerical limitation, as many of its adherents are believed to be illegal immigrants and therefore do not count towards the legal minimum.”

So what this story seems to say is that not that Islam, per se, is banned, but that because there are so many illegal aliens who are Muslim, Islam can't get the required number of adherents, and so de facto, it cannot register and have the right to build mosques.

But it got twisted into "Angola bans Islam".