Monday, November 25, 2013
A New Trend? The Banning Of Mosques
Two items of interest...mosques are being banned in Moscow, and in the predominantly Christian south African country of Angola in an effort to curtail the spread of Islam.
In Moscow, the mayor, Sergei Sobyanin has banned the construction of any new mosques in the city beyond the four that already exist.
The mayor claims that the mosques are chiefly used by migrant workers from Central Asia who do not have residence permits, and that building more mosques would just increase their number.He claimed that between 60 and 70 percent of Muslim worshipers are migrants. "We cannot provide for all comers. I think it's not necessary," Sobyanin said.
There are 2 million legal Muslim residents in Moscow currently, and none of the four existing mosques can accommodate more than 10,000 people.So this is obviously an attempt to restrict th eamount of Muslims in Moscow and suppress the practice of Islam.
There is apparently one more mosque in the middle of construction, but Mayor Sobyanin made it clear that there will be no more."No new building permits will be issued. I think that's enough mosques for Moscow,” Sobyanin told Russian daily newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.
This is noteworthy considering the simmering tension between Muslims and non-Muslims in Russia, which has a 400-year-old history. Something like 70% of births among native Russians end in abortion, and th emain segment of the population that is growing is Muslim. The demographic changes have already led to violence between Muslim and non-Muslims in the military and ethnic clashes throughout Russia. Mayor Sobyanin would almost certainly justify his ban on mosques on those grounds.
In Angola, there's a different variation of the same thing going on. Angola is not only banning the construction of any mosques, it is demolishing the existing ones.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said Sunday "this is the final end of Islamic influence in our country."
Angola's ban was first announced last Friday, when Angolan Minister of Culture, Rosa Cruz e Silva said "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."
India Today reports Silva's statement was made at the 6th Commission of the Angolan National Assembly, and that the ban includes orders to demolish mosques in the country.
Silva reportedly said the ban was necessary since Islam is "contradictory to the customs of Angola culture."
Angola's population of 16 million is predominantly Christian, with only 80,000-90,000 Muslims, the majority of whom are migrants from West Africa and families of Lebanese origin, according to the US State Department.
The crackdown on Islam comes as Christians in the Middle East are being forced from Muslim countries.
This is obviously a de facto attempt to ban the organized practice of Islam in Angola. Given the violence that seems to be inherent in many countries once the percentage of Muslim residents reaches a certain percentage, it will be intersting to see whether this becomes a growing trend.