"Spirituality of Azerbaijani Population Can not be Expressed Only through Religions" – Azerbaijani President’s Chief-of-Staff
Opinion from an article by Azerbaijani President's chef of staff, academician Ramiz Mehdiyev - "Agenda Remains Unchanged: Course of Modernization"
Azerbaijan is a country with high spirituality. At the same time, Azerbaijan has universal characteristics peculiar to all mankind. That the spirituality determines mutual relations inside the society and embodies the moral code of every citizen of Azerbaijan, and also plays a priority role in national consciousness. The spirituality of Azerbaijani population can not be expressed only by means of religion; though Islam is undoubtedly an important component of most citizens' life. However, neither Islam nor any other religion in Azerbaijan can be considered as a sole religious concept. Belief is a determining factor of cultural and historical identification of a citizen and only this way its place and role in our life must be understood.
Unfortunately, attitude towards religion sometimes causes ambiguous reaction. For example, as a result of demographic Islamization of the Western world, we can see some forces are trying to turn religion into a means of radicalization, political rivalry and dirty struggle. After Azerbaijan gained its independence, some outer forces tried to introduce political Islam into the public life of the country. But the authorities opposed to these attempts by using our high spirituality tested over centuries and thus the attempts were prevented in due time. People's belief cannot withstand use of religion as a political factor. Every religion is the factor of peace, consent and tolerance. Therefore, any application of religions as a means of pressure upon mass consciousness, formation of environment to implement some political order contradicts with their philosophic core. Religion must not become an object of radical pretensions and act as a factor of social pressure. In Azerbaijan, divine religions are highly respected. Azerbaijan is an area of tolerance giving space to non-traditional religious currents. However, no religion or religious current can be used to change political, economic, social or cultural order.
Belief is an element of national identity, mentality and archetype of Azerbaijani socium, which serves towards the idea of construction of a stable society and structure of peace coexistence. At the same time, we clearly understand that without synthesis of belief and knowledge we will not be able to make full use of the huge spiritual resource of the nation for total modernization, will not be able to completely apprehend the importance of other resource of a nation - intellect. We must admit that supremacy of materialism in the 20th century has ended and its remnants impede social progress, as they underestimate the role of intellect and spirituality as a very important resource of development.