Angola declares itself an Islam Free Zone

Posted on November 26, 2013

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Allah and The Prophet receive eviction notice.

Editor’s Note:

In a late breaking update to this story, International Business Times – today, November 26th – claims to have interviewed two members of the Angolan Embassy in Washington, who question the accuracy of the reports in the international media – including from the Moroccan weekly, LaNouvelle Tribune, that Angola has banned Islam.  Confusing this matter, is that the embassy sources are un-named and claim to be unaware of the policy.  Further, they profess ignorance of the matter and only speculate that their understanding is that Angola is not clamping down on Islam and mosques.  “At the moment we don’t have any information about that, we’re reading about it just like you on the Internet. We don’t have any information that what you’re reading on the Internet is true.”  They also do not have any information that it is false.  Nor do I, but International Business Times doesn’t account for the secondary media sources that I have referenced here (e.g., News In Nigeria and Voice of America).  However, no matter what facts may emerge and what clarification surfaces, Angola has taken a strict and pro-active posture toward Islam for the last several years and if they haven’t in fact taken the absolute measures described in this report, it would be strongly advisable for them to do so.

Allah, his prophet Muhammed and their followers are being shown the door in Angola.  Apparently, the government of Angola, is not as captivated by the idea of Islam being a ‘religion of peace’ as some progressives in the West have deceived themselves to believe.  Some news sites such as the Blaze are reporting today that the Southern African coastal nation of Angola, which borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia, is outlawing Islam.

That is not exactly factual.  Angola has semi-officially deemed Islam illegal for about 7 years now, but the government has been gradual and somewhat deliberate in the process of implementing Islam’s illegal status. This is evident by the statement of Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who reportedly said Sunday that the new regulations will usher in “the final end of Islamic influence” in the country.  Key word final.  This was not a sudden development.

What is now known as the Republic of Angola, was under the influence of Portuguese settlers, slave traders and the Portuguese army for nearly 4 centuries and officially a colony for a half century.  Independence came in fits and starts, but finally culminated in 1975.  Unfortunately, like most other former European colonies, immediately following the commencement of their new status as an independent nation, Angola broke out in civil war, with combat between militias acting as proxies for the United States, South Africa and Zaire and the Soviet Union and Cuba.

Conflict continued unabated for 27 years, until the remaining two warring nationalist movements, UNITA and the Soviet backed MPLA reached a cease fire agreement and a settlement leading to shared control of the government.  It was not until 2008, that elections (of questionable legitimacy) were held and just 3 years ago that the nation ratified a formal constitution, replacing a tentative charter from 1992.  Cosmetically a democracy, Angola has a ways to go in shedding a reputation for authoritarian rule.  It is typical of many former colonies, in that society exists as a small, politically connected oligarch class, consuming the abundance of income from trade and development and the vast remainder of workers existing in poverty as well as a marginal middle class. Corruption permeates every aspect of government, business and society.

Angola is emerging as a quasi Chinese proxy state.  China is investing heavily in large regions of Africa, positioning themselves as a major player in development and trade.  China imports roughly 16 percent  of its oil from Angola and diamonds are also a major export commodity in Angola’s international trade.  Angola is also a war weary nation and an economically depressed nation, resulting from the years of it’s rich mineral resources having been confiscated by the various ruling factions.  It is as well –  a country whose citizens are majority Christian in religion – 95% or more.  Wikipedia notes:

While reliable statistics are nonexistent, estimates have it that more than half of the population are Roman Catholics, while about a quarter adhere to the Protestant churches introduced during the colonial period: the Congregationalists mainly among the Ovimbundu of the Central Highlands and the coastal region to its West, the Methodists concentrating on the Kimbundu speaking strip from Luanda to Malanje, the Baptists almost exclusively among the Bakongo of the Northwest (now massively present in Luanda as well) and dispersed Adventists, Reformed and Lutherans.  In Luanda and region there subsists a nucleus of the “syncretic” Tocoists and in the northwest a sprinkling of Kimbanguism can be found, spreading from the Congo/Zaire.  Since independence, hundreds of Pentecostal and similar communities have sprung up in the cities, where by now about 50% of the population is living; several of these communities/churches are of Brazilian origin.  Muslims, largely Sunni –  migrants mostly from West Africa, compose approximately 1 to 2 percent of the population.

Citizens of Angola look around themselves at other African nations in which Islam has established a political  / military footprint and see strife and bloodshed.  As a consequence, they have concluded that Islam is not a religion, so much as it is a cult and a political movement – one that they have no interest in seeing expand in Angola.  Further, the Angolans are acutely aware that Saudi Arabia is the chief exponent of Wahhabism in Africa – the most oppressive and murderous wing of theo-fascist Islam.  Somali journalist Bashir Goth, writes that his country’s tolerant Sufi-infused Islamic culture has been: “swept aside by a new brand of Islam that is being pushed down the throat of our people – Wahhabism.  Anywhere one looks, one finds that alien, perverted version of Islam.”

Bringing matters to the present, News In Nigeria reports:

In early October 2013, the Muslims living in Luanda in the municipality of Viana Zango were shocked to see the minaret of their mosque dismantled into pieces on the ground without permission.  On Thursday 03 October in the morning, the Angolan authorities decided to destroy the mosque Zango located in the urban district of Viana 17 km.  The governor of Luanda Bento announced in a radio spot that radical Muslims are not welcome in Angola and the Angolan government is not ready for the legalization of mosques in Angola. 

And on Tuesday, November 19, the Minister of Culture, Rosa Cruz e Silva said.  “Regarding Islam, the legalization process has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.  Therefore all mosques would be closed until further notice. “ It should be noted that the Angolan government has made closing of all mosques a priority.  The only two mosques located in Luanda have already received a warning document signed by the mayor of the municipality of Viana José Moreno.

The trend in Angola in placing an outright ban on Islam, is of great interest to Nigerians, who struggle with the vicious Islamic insurgent terror group Boko Haram, the name of which translates to “Western Education is a sin.” 

Voice of America reporter Coque Mukuta has been in direct contact with Muslim communities across Angola, and confirmed to The Cairo Post that over 60 mosques have been closed or demolished.  While The Cairo Post has been unable to obtain numbers on how many mosques were demolished versus closed, Mukuta said mosques in several locations were affected, including Luanda and Moxico.  A few mosques in Benguela and Luanda are still operational.  Mukuta says that the Muslim community believes the real reason their houses of worship are being targeted is because Angolan society – and the government – believes they are “terrorists,” they said.  “The terrorist argument is raised by the Muslims [themselves].  But it is a known fact that the Angolan government is afraid of radicalism,” Mukuta told The Cairo Post.  “People here tell me that I am defending them in vain, as they are suicidal.”

From my perspective, this is less a freedom of religion issue, than a realization that Islam is subversive, divisive and deadly, wherever it gains a foothold.  Angola has decided that it is not going to gain a foothold.  It’s not a matter of bias or prejudice, it’s a simple matter of risk management. 

Islam is, broadly speaking, incompatible with civilization at large.  That same comprehension and resolve is essential everywhere that societies are still capable of arresting Islam in it’s bloody tracks.

 

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