Angolas ambassade i Washington dementerer på det sterkeste meldinger som har sirkulert i helgen om at landet som det første i verden har forbudt islam og begynt rivingen av moskeer.

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.”

Hvor nyheten oppsto er noe av et mysterium. Men storyen vant troverdighet da en nigeriansk avis kunne sitere president Dos Santos på at de ville ha en slutt på islamsk innflytelse i landet.

Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos reportedly weighed in on the controversy, as he was quoted in Nigeria’s Osun Defender newspaper on Sunday as saying, «This is the final end of Islamic influence in our country,» according to a report by the website OnIslam.net, which was accompanied by the suspect photo supposedly depicting the Angolan mosque’s minaret being dismantled in October of last year.

Bildet viser en minaret som rives, men bildet er fra 2008. Det er senere benyttet av en antiisraelsk organisasjon for å illustrere israelernes riving av bedouinske hus.

Det er mulig at storyen oppsto fordi kulturministeren har avgitt en uttalelse som tyder på en uavklart situasjon for islams legale status.

Weekly French-language Moroccan newspaper La Nouvelle Tribune published an article on Friday sourcing «several» Angolan officials, including the minister of Culture, Rosa Cruz, who reportedly offered the following remarks, which have been translated from French: «The process of legalization of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. Their mosques would be closed until further notice.»

Det kan ha gjort at ambassaden har fått panikk og dementerer det hele. President Dos Santos har ikke uttalt seg, foreløpig.

http://www.ibtimes.com/angola-denies-it-banned-islam-destroyed-mosques-1484898