I doubted the accuracy of this report from the beginning, and sure enough, it turns out to be false. That is all to the good — banning an entire belief system would just embroil Angola in an ongoing resistance and would become a serious human rights issue. Banning Islam in particular would engulf it in a more energetic jihad than is being waged against it now. And no one who is committed to the freedom of conscience can support such a ban, although the Angolans and everyone else are certainly within their rights to ban and work against elements of Sharia (or any other system) that contradict universal principles of human rights.
Angola became a hot topic in the international media over the weekend, as news outlets around the world wrote about reports that the Southwest African nation had banned Islam and had begun to dismantle mosques.
But an official at the Angolan Embassy in Washington, D.C., who did not want to be identified while discussing the sensitive matter, said that there is no such ban, and that the reports are erroneous.
“The Republic of Angola “¦ it’s a country that does not interfere in religion,” the official said via telephone Monday afternoon. “We have a lot of religions there. It is freedom of religion. We have Catholic, Protestants, Baptists, Muslims and evangelical people.”
News of Angola’s supposed ban on Islam originated in the African press, which went so far as to quote the nation’s president and minister of culture offering statements that suggested the premise of the reports was accurate.
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….