Special commission members visit Haji Javad mosque
The special commission members have visited the Haji Javad mosque in Baku’s Yasamal district to investigate the situation surrounding the decision to demolish the mosque and had a talk with religious residents, Chairman of the State Committee of Azerbaijan for Work with Religious Organizations Mubariz Gurbanli told APA on Monday.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev earlier ordered the setting up of a special commission to halt demolition of Haji Javad Mosque located in 79 Abdulla Shaig Street, Yasamal district in Baku.
Taking into account the reaction of believers, the head of state gave directions to halt demolition of the mosque, comprehensively investigate the situation, evaluate the technical conditions of the building and submit relevant proposals.
Gurbanli said the religious residents praised President Ilham Aliyev’s attitude towards the problem.
“The commission had a technical inspection of the mosque and had a meeting with a group of religious residents. A number of proposals were voiced as to the mosque. The problem with Haji Javad mosque will be solved on the basis of these proposals,” he said.
He added that the proposals made by the authorities represented in the special commission have to do with the areas of those authorities.
The committee chairman continued: “For example, our committee’s proposals deal with legal issues. The Caucasian Muslims Office’s proposals deal with the question of whether or not relocating the mosque would violate Sharia law. Officials of the Ministry of Emergency Situations will conduct a technical examination of the mosque to check its durability. The Yasamal district executive authority deals with the issue of relocating the mosque in connection with the ongoing reconstruction work. The final decision will be made based on these proposals and necessary steps will be taken. The commission’s final opinion will be announced to the public.”
Gurbanli noted that if appropriate, a new site will be provided for the construction of a new, larger mosque.
“This building was not used as a mosque during the Soviet period, it included different departments and partitions. Depending on the final decision, in another place it will be possible to build a new mosque which will be named after the person who built it. In general, the believers said they don’t see any problem in the relocation of the mosque. Mosques have been relocated in many Muslim countries around the world. There is a difference between relocation and demolition of the mosque,” he said.
Gurbanli also clarified the registration of a religious community in Haji Javad mosque saying that 10 persons were registered in the Justice Ministry in the first years of independence.
“Following the amendment to the law on freedom of religion made in 2009, it was needed to register with signatures of 50 persons mentioning the legal address. This mosque’s community didn’t make such an initiative, its akhund was not appointed by the Caucasian Muslims Office and it operated illegally,” he added.
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