Azerbaijani president orders to establish special commission to investigate situation around Haji Javad Mosque
- 13 April 2017
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has ordered the establishment of a special commission to halt demolition of Haji Javad Mosque located in 79 Abdulla Shaig Street, Yasamal district in Baku, President`s Aide for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov told APA on Thursday.
Hasanov noted that the head of state is concerned about the situation around demolition of the mosque.
“Taking into account the reaction of believers, the head of state gave the necessary instructions to halt demolition of the mosque, comprehensively investigate the situation, evaluate the technical conditions of the building and submit relevant proposals,” said the presidential aide.
Hasanov noted that after Azerbaijan gained its state independence, one of the main priorities of the state policy was the preservation and development of the Azerbaijani people’s religious and cultural heritage, provision of freedom of religion and conscience, improvement of the legislation regulating relations between the state and religion in accordance with modern requirements, reconstruction and restoration of religious monuments, mosques, places of worship, and the creation of the necessary conditions to meet religious needs of each person.
“In the first years of independence, national leader Heydar Aliyev, who had great respect for the national, spiritual and religious values of the Azerbaijani people, in spite of limited opportunities, paid special attention to the reconstruction and restoration of mosques shut down and dilapidated in the Soviet era. Under the order signed by Heydar Aliyev in 1994, the destroyed Bibi-Heybat mosque was rebuilt and commissioned in 1998,” he said.
Hasanov continued: “The restoration of religious temples, the foundations of which were laid by national leader Heydar Aliyev, were subsequently continued on a large scale by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Tezepir Mosque, Juma Mosque and the Prophet Muhammad Mosque in Icheri Sheher, Ajdarbey Mosque, Juma Mosque in Shamaki, Imamzadeh complex in Ganja and dozens of other religious monuments and mosques were also repaired and reconstructed by the state. Moreover, Heydar Aliyev Mosque, the largest and most modern mosque in the South Caucasus, was built.”
He also pointed out that numerous mosques and places of worship were restored in various regions of the country by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation within the framework of the project “Address of Tolerance - Azerbaijan”.
“If there were only 17 mosques in Azerbaijan during the Soviet period, their number reached 2166 at the beginning of 2017. 306 mosques are currently under state protection as historic monuments,” added Hasanov.
Hasanov noted that Islamic holidays are celebrated at the state level in Azerbaijan.
“There are all conditions available for performing religious rituals. It’s no coincidence that in Azerbaijan, which is known as the center of religious tolerance, a congregational prayer was performed in Heydar Mosque for the first time,” said the presidential aide.
He also hailed tolerance and co-existence of different religions in the country. “There has never been religious and ethnic discrimination in our country, and representatives of all religions have lived here in peace and mutual understanding. This is our lifestyle and the best way to confidently move forward.”
Hasanov went on to say: “Azerbaijan is also hosting important events for spreading Islamic culture in the world, conducting an open struggle against Islamophobia. President Ilham Aliyev decently represents the Islamic world at international events, strongly condemning manifestations of Islamophobia in his speeches. By this means, he makes a practical contribution to the promotion of Islamic cultural heritage and the idea of multiculturalism.
He stressed that Azerbaijan actively contributed to the organization of the Department of Islamic Arts in famous Louvre museum in France, and was the first Muslim country to demonstrate its exhibition in the Vatican.
“In 2009, Baku was declared the capital of Islamic culture with the support of ISESCO. In 2018, Nakhchivan, another ancient Azerbaijani city, was awarded this honorary title,” added Hasanov.
He said that 2017 was declared “The Year of Islamic Solidarity” in Azerbaijan, adding that the country is organizing numerous international events to strengthen unity in the Muslim world and to show the whole world that Islam is a religion of peace and culture. “I think that apart from being a sporting event, the Islamic Solidarity Games to be held in Baku this May will be the days of unity and solidarity of the Islamic world,” said Hasanov.
The presidential aide highlighted large-scale construction and redevelopment work in the country, saying all social, economic and cultural infrastructure is being modernized.
“Modern parks, gardens, roads and buildings are being constructed in Baku. In this context, work carried out in Sovetski in Yasamal district is part of this modernization process in the capital. Old buildings and facilities with poor conditions are being demolished, and citizens are being provided with new houses,” he added.
Hasanov also called on citizens who gathered around Haji Javad Mosque to leave the area and create necessary working conditions for the newly established commission.