Events around the Haji Javad mosque have deep causes
2017 April 15 ( Saturday ) 10:13:38
The clash of interests between the parishioners of the Hajj Jawad mosque in the center of Baku and the authorities in Azerbaijan is seen as an insignificant and temporary touch in the everyday life of the country, in the stream of events and news replacing each other in the information space.
But if we look more closely into the socio-political context and the events surrounding the mosque, this small event on the narrow site in the Sovietskaya Street, where the houses were demolished forcibly, indicates the formation of a new atmosphere in the society - the tension in the civil sector and the crisis state.
Formally, parishioners of the mosque, which can be called a prayer house, because of the absence of such attributes as the dome and minarets, opposed the plans of the authorities to demolish the mosque under the pretext of reconstructing a specific part of the city - the Soviet one. But this is only the external part of the reason for such determination of believers. It would be properly classified as an excuse. It is no secret and there have been sufficient studies and conclusions about the fact that the post-Soviet development of Islam in Azerbaijan adopted a protest philosophy, undermining the national liberation struggle of the collapse of the USSR and the democratic wave of the 1990s. Rather, it would be more correct to say that Islamic resistance arose on the field of the defeat of the democratic opposition on the part of the ruling regime. Now this protest Islamic wave is directed against the power mired in corruption, theft, overwhelming freedom and the rights of citizens. It was the mosques that became the centers of spiritual unity and resistance of citizens to the current official policy.
The ruling elite from the very beginning was aware of the threat of formation and growth of the religious protest electorate, and therefore took a number of actions to neutralize religious groups and communities. Basically, they include control over religious groups, measures of power and encouragement in the form of arrests and the construction of new religious churches, the implementation of a public policy of consolidation with the Islamic world, and counteracting the Western Christian influence on the country.
From time to time an open confrontation between the Muslim communities and the authorities took place and, as a rule, resulted in the victory of the line of power for compulsion to obedience. Of this series, the longest was the Nardaran epic. In 2001, the authorities were unable to break the protest movement in this settlement, which at times manifested itself in the form of social protests. They took a timeout for 14 years and yet, held a large-scale campaign to suppress the hotbed of resistance, arresting in the fall of 2015 a significant number of representatives of the local community and setting up a state of emergency there. This act of intimidation was to become an example and a deterrent for the rest of the faithful groups. But as can be seen from the situation around the mosque of Haji Javad, this tactic failed. A decisive protest against the demolition of the prayer house occurred in parallel with the large-scale Nardaran judicial process.
Undoubtedly, this is a protest that goes beyond the protection of the mosque, and is a manifestation of the protest moods of not only the religious community, but society as a whole. To put it more simply, it is a protest against the upper classes. And to treat it in the interpretation of the authorities as the evil machinations of hostile forces, was an awkward attempt to pretend that there is complete harmony between society and power.
In this case it does not matter what position the power will take in the future. It is even more evident that it is still trying to use the traditional policy of punishment for disobedience. This is evidenced by official and semi-official cliche designed for the layman. The first group of assessments is of a defamatory nature: it is not good to resist the improvement of the city, this action pours water to the mill of Armenians, is an attempt to reduce the image of the country in the Islamic world, the intrigues of forces trying to create a confrontation between the state and society. The second group is reassuring - conciliatory: the president is deeply religious, the president instructed to set up a commission to settle the issue around the mosque and build a new mosque. That is, these contradictory arguments voiced by presidential aide Ali Hasanov show the presence of indecision on the one hand, and on the other, the intention is still to solve the problem by force, under more favorable circumstances.
They talk about the intransigence of the authorities to act from a position of strength with recalcitrant civil groups, regardless of whether they are religious or secular. So it was with the protest of refugees over the introduction of payment for utilities. The order to impose a charge was noted by the president after local protests, but at the same time some active participants in these actions were arrested and sentenced to imprisonment. The authorities ultimately carried out the traditional line of violence and its celebrations as an edification for the whole of society as a whole. The same will be with the mosque of Haji Javad.