In Summary
  • Reports that Angola, a traditionally devout Catholic nation, would crack down on Muslims had drawn condemnation from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and others
  • The oil-rich southern African nation has a population of about 18 million people, several hundred thousand of whom are Muslim

LUANDA

Angola's government on Tuesday denied it had banned Islam and close mosques in the country, after speculation that sparked outrage among Muslims worldwide.

"There is no war in Angola against Islam or any other religion," said Manuel Fernando, director of the National Institute for Religious Affairs, part of the ministry of culture.

"There is no official position that targets the destruction or closure of places of worship, whichever they are," Fernando told AFP.

Reports that Angola, a traditionally devout Catholic nation, would crack down on Muslims had drawn condemnation from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and others.

In Egypt, mufti Shawqi Allam said such a move would be "a provocation not only to Angolan Muslims but to more than 1.5 billion Muslims all over the world".

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