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Angolan rulers 'ban' Islam

Issue No. 2382

The Angolan government is accused of “banning” Islam as a clampdown on the Muslim minority intensifies.

Most of the country’s mosques have been closed down. Wearing a veil has been banned in many schools, and women who wear it have been attacked.

The Islamic Community of Angola (ICA) says anyone practising Islam now risks prosecution. 

The government claims that talk of a ban is an exaggeration. But it only recognises certain religions with more than 100,000 members—and the Muslim population is estimated at just 90,000.

The government rejected a bid to legalise Islam last month. It has since destroyed mosques and burned hundreds of copies of the Koran, according to the ICA.

The government needs a scapegoat to distract from anger at Portuguese and Chinese firms operating in the country. It hopes “war on terror” rhetoric will give it cover to target Muslims.

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Tue 3 Dec 2013, 18:15 GMT
Issue No. 2382
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