Islam in Gabon

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Six percent of the population of Gabon practice Islam, according to a 2012 estimate.[1] Most follow Sunni Islam. Eighty to ninety percent of the Muslims are foreigners.

Islamic, Catholic and Protestant denominations operate primary and secondary schools in Gabon. These schools are required to register with the Ministry of Education, which is charged with ensuring that these religious schools meet the same standards required for public schools. The government does not contribute funds to private schools, whether religious or secular.

Mosque in Port-Gentil, Gabon

The Gabonese Government celebrates some Christian and Muslim holy days as national holidays. These include Easter Sunday and Monday, Ascension Day, Assumption Day, All Saints' Day, Christmas, Eid al-Kebir, and Eid al-Fitr.

The government television stations accorded free transmission time to the Catholic Church, some Protestant congregations, and Islamic mosques. Some Protestant denominations alleged that the government television station does not accord free airtime to minority religious groups. Protestants have alleged in the past that the armed forces favor Catholics and Muslims in hiring and promotion.[2]

Gabon's executive branch was controlled by a Muslim, Omar Bongo, from 1973 to 2009. Bongo converted to Islam in 1973 and changed his name from Albert-Bernard Bongo to its current form. Gabon is a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, having joined under Bongo's leadership in 1974.

In 2004 a first national conference for the Muslims of Gabon was held in the capital city of the country, Libreville, on the theme ‘United for the sake of a flourishing and tolerant Islam’. During the conference, heads of some 34 Islamic societies of Gabon signed an agreement for undertaking coordinated Islamic works on the sidelines of the event.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Gabon". The World Factbook. CIA. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017. 
  2. ^ www.state.gov
  3. ^ www.jafariyanews.com