Azerbaijan, Baku, 9 September / Trend corr. I.Alizade, J.Babayeva / The Azerbaijani State Committee for Religious Associations believes that there are foreign influences behind radical religious forces in the country.
"Traditionally, such kind of radical groups were not formed in Azerbaijan. Sometimes they were directed by foreign forces," Elchin Asgarov, the deputy chairman of the State Committee for Religious Associations told Trend on 9 September.
On 17 August, the blast at the Abu Bakr Mosque located in Narimanov District of Baku killed two people and wounded 19. The National Security Ministry said that Forest Brothers radical religious group committed this crime.
According to Asgarov, forces, which assist radical religious groups and direct them, are not belong to separate countries, whilst they are transnational forces.
"Sometimes activity of these or those religious groups can suit the interests of some countries. At the same time, some countries can assist the forces because of suitability of their activity with the country's interests," Asgarov said.
According to the deputy chairman, although there are radical religious groups in Azerbaijan, their number is few. Azerbaijan ranks first amongst countries of the region due the fewest number of radical religious groups, he said.
"There are few people, who fall under such radical groups' influence, in Azerbaijan even as compared to Western Europe and the United States. Although their number is few, whilst they exist in the country. Even their radicalism reaches the level, in which they refuse to accept the current form of government in Azerbaijan. However, they do not create great problems and tension the country, because law enforcement bodies keep them under control and prevent their activity, if it is necessary."
According to the Committee's official, who clarified the matter concerning Forest Brothers, it is not a community, but a group. He said that such groups did not apply to the state to be registered: "Such groups existed once and they were made answerable. Their number is not so high."
Asgarov said that he read news on the Abu Bakr Mosque's suspension only from media and noted that decision on suspension of the mosques was not made by one group of people's opinion.
"Activity of any mosque community should be suspended only at the court's decision. If there is public danger or other reason, any mosque will be suspended. Even it cannot be related to the mosque community. There are other reasons of suspension of community's activity and mosque," he said.
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