Azerbaijan must create religious model based on national spiritual values
Baku, Azerbaijan, April 1
By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:
A national-religious model based on the national spiritual values must be formed in Azerbaijan to regulate the relations between the state and religion, the high-ranking official said in an interview with Trend.
Deputy head of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations Siyavush Heydarov said that this model must be based non-politicized and strong religious ground.
Heydarov said that this model must reflect a systematic form of fundamental Azerbaijani values on the basis of the main criteria of Islam, the modern requirements and the principles of secularism.
"Azerbaijan is a multinational country," he said. "The representatives of various religious confessions and currents live on the territory of Azerbaijan. From the first years of independence, Azerbaijan was in the center of the geopolitical and economic interests of some foreign countries and circles. As a result, it was under influence. A religious factor plays a certain role here."
He said that under the guise of Islam, some forces have tried and are trying to export the traditions, alien to the Azerbaijani society, to the country."
"Islam is not the only religion existing in Azerbaijan," he said. "The representatives of various religions live in the country in peace and tolerance."
"While forming the national-religious model, it is very important to take the traditional religions in Azerbaijan as a basis," he said. "People must know that the national-religious model means a form of fundamental Islam based on Azerbaijani national-spiritual values, tested by the history and brought in accordance with the secularity."
"In particular, the national and religious model should ensure the consistency of the meaning and principles enshrined in the flag which is a state attribute of Azerbaijan," said Heydarov.
He added that primarily, national identity, modernity and democracy, as well as important Islamic values should constitute the baseline of the corresponding model.
These principles will be used as a basis in the process of using this model as well, according to Heydarov.
Furthermore, he said that concrete work is being carried out by the specialists and relevant structures, in order to ensure the society's adaptation to this model.
"The population's views on the religious life and attitude to this model are being studied," he said. "To this end, specialists are preparing polls and it is analyzed to what extend will the principles and rules of this model work in the modern period."
At the next stage, it is planned to attract specialists who will use this model and to train national personnel in this sphere, said Heydarov. "The reforms to be carried out in the religious education system will allow to form the national and religious model."
He added that firstly, a base of professionals should be created to provide research and work in the religious sphere. To this end, it is necessary to form a religious education center that will provide the needed religious knowledge and combine the principles of secularism.
He said that if one pays attention to the neighboring countries, one can see that education in them is based on a system that has deep roots. He went on to add that the result of the current system is the preparation of professional cadres in the field of religion, which play an important role in the regulation of relations between the state and religion in these countries.
"However, we cannot use their model in Azerbaijan, as there is a multi-religious factor in the Azerbaijani society," said Heydarov.
On the basis of this very factor, the national-religious model should include the establishment of a national system of education and training of national staff in the field of religion, which will benefit society in future, said Heydarov.
In this context, national-religious education, national and religious personnel and national-religious model should be formed, he said.
"One of the main ways to fight radicalism is to carry out educational work in the religious sphere, which is proved by international experience," Siyavush Heydarov said.
He said that in order to get rid of radicalism, there should be an alternative to it.
"It must be formed namely on the basis of a model based on national and spiritual values. This model should ensure that the growing young generation would remain faithful to the national values, treat their national identity with respect, as well as serve to protect it from radical elements, fueled by an alien environment. Systemic application of this model is an important step towards the weakening of radicalism trend today, as well as the prevention of negative cases that may occur in the future."