World Bulletin / News Desk
Muslims living in Angola have denied that the country had banned Islam and is closing mosques.
The imam of Nuru'l-Islam Mosque, Seikh Osman Ibn Zaid, told Anadolu Agency, "The reports about the closure of mosques are not true, the Cultural Ministry stated that there is no such thing,"
Zaid also confirmed that a mosque was closed for some regulations in Huambo. He stressed that the goverment is working on 200 mosques in the country and also said that the government supported plans to build new mosques.
"If the government was against Islam, they could close the mosque in Huambo. I think the government shows goodwil towards Islam," the Imam of the Nuru'l-Islam Mosque, Zaid, said.
According to the International Religious Freedom Report 2008, Islam in Angola is a minority religion with 80,000 – 90,000 adherents, composed largely of migrants from West Africa and families of Lebanese origin.
The Muslims comprise between 2.5 to 3 percent of Angola’s overall population of 17 million people, most of them Christians.
In the last decade, especially in the last few years, the Muslim community in Angola has grown and Islamic activities have become more common in major cities. Mosques have sprung up in a number of places and Qur’anic schools have been built to provide Islamic instructions and to teach the Arabic language to adherents.
Lastly, an official at the Angolan Embassy in Washington, D.C., said that there is no such ban, and that the reports are erroneous.
“The Republic of Angola … is a country that does not interfere in religion,” the official said via telephone Monday afternoon.