Believers during a prayer in the yard of Meshedi Dadash Mosque in Maku. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the "Caucasian Knot"

04 July 2019, 23:48

Orientalists treat threat of Islamic extremism in Azerbaijan as negligible

The Azerbaijani militants, who have recorded their oath to the leader of the "Islamic State" (IS), a terrorist organization banned in Russia by the court, are extremely small in number and have no influence on believers inside the country; while Azerbaijani authorities keep all religious groups under control, Orientalists believe.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the IS posted a video of the oath, given by Azerbaijani militants to the IS leader. It was the first such IS' video from Azerbaijan.

Overall, about 900 people left Azerbaijan for the Middle East to take part in the warfare on the side of the IS, said Ilham Ismail, the head of the Centre for Security Studies, a former employee of the Azerbaijani Ministry of National Security (MNS). He is confident that there are now very few Azerbaijan natives in the ranks of the IS.

"Out of 900 people, about 400 perished; about 300 others, mostly women and children, still stay in Syria and Iraq. No more than 50-100 militants are still members of radical armed groupings," Mr Ismail has explained, adding that today in Azerbaijan, the foundations of radical Islam are greatly ruined.

In the opinion of Elshan Gasanov, the head of the Union "For the Freedom of Political Prisoners", Azerbaijani authorities are increasing pressure on believers regardless of their religious trends.

Emin Guseinov, Executive Director of the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS), believes that authorities are deliberately aggravating the situation, in order to justify human rights violations in Azerbaijan by the threat of radical Islam.

The posted video of the oath is worth of no serious attention, said Ruslan Kurbanov, an Orientalist and a political analyst. In his opinion, the Azerbaijani special services are working very closely with Russia and Turkey, and are quickly neutralizing the threats.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 4, 2019 at 06:48 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid, Oleg Krasnov; Source: CK correspondents

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