Baku. Ramiz Mikayiloglu – APA. “The proposed amendments to the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan as to coercion into faith should be understood properly. The amendments are aimed against acts like coercing someone to beg holding an Alam or to leave beard,” said Siyavush Novruzov, MP, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on public unions and religious organizations.
He made the remarks at the joint meeting of the parliamentary Committee on legal policy and state building, and the Committee on public associations and religious organizations on Thursday.
Novruzov made it clear that the amendments have nothing to do with someone who performs a certain religious rite or carries a religious icon or prays at home, etc.
The MP also touched on the prohibition on the leading of religious rituals by Azerbaijani citizens who have studied religious outside the country.
“Religion is taught at Baku Islamic University as well as Baku State University. However, we have no educational facilities offering religious education on Judaism or Christianity. So the prohibition only applies to the lead of religious rituals by those who have studied Islam abroad. By the way, a law does not apply to the past. So we’re talking about only those who have chosen to study Islam abroad after the adoption of the law. Perhaps, they are knowledgeable. But still, the probability remains of them having built contact with some authorities in that country. Religious rituals should be led by ones who are loyal to their country and people,” he said.