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'Wahhabis', democrats and everything in between: The development of Islamic activism in post-Soviet Azerbaijan
Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
2007 (English)In: Ethno-Nationalism, Islam and the State in the Caucasus: Post-Soviet Disorder / [ed] Moshe Gammer, London: Routledge, 2007, p. 194-211Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Azerbaijan, like other former Soviet republics, experienced something of a religious ‘boom’ after independence, as religion re-emerged in public life. The 17 mosques that had existed in Soviet times suddenly mushroomed into thousands, other places of worship were restored, many religious organizations registered and the opportunity to study religion in the country as well as to travel to religious universities abroad was made possible.1 When Azerbaijan became independent it was decided that the country would distance itself from the atheist policies of the Soviet Union, but stay a strictly secular state. Nevertheless Azerbaijani leaders have at times used religion to strengthen their leadership. Former President Heydar Aliyev demonstrated his commitment to religion already during his inauguration by swearing the presidential oath on the Constitution as well as the Qura’n. Later he made sure to celebrate officially almost every important Muslim holiday.2 Still, he made a point of keeping the clear-cut difference established during Soviet times between ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ Islam, the former being under government control. This became particularly clear after 1997 when a number of laws were introduced that sharply decreased the autonomy of religious organizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2007. p. 194-211
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-35979Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84917292553ISBN: 9780203933794 (print)ISBN: 9781134098538 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-35979DiVA, id: diva2:1232004
Available from: 2018-07-10 Created: 2018-07-10 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved

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Bedford, Sofie

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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