The Islamic Community of Angola (ICA) claims that eight mosques have been destroyed in the past two years and anyone who practises Islam risks being found guilty of disobeying Angola's penal code.

Human rights activists have condemned the wide-ranging crackdown. "From what I have heard, Angola is the first country in the world that has decided to ban Islam," said Elias Isaac, country director of the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (Osisa). "This is a crazy madness. The government is intolerant of any difference."

Officials in the largely Catholic southern African nation insist that worldwide media reports of a "ban" on Islam are exaggerated and no places of worship are being targeted.