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Nya rörelser, gamla tankesätt och nationella problem: Muslimsk aktivism i postsovjetiska Azerbajdzjan
Baltic and East European Graduate School, Södertörns högskola.
2007 (Swedish)In: Nordisk Østforum, ISSN 0801-7220, Vol. 21, no 3, 275-299 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Azerbaijan, like other former Soviet republics, experienced something of a religious “boom” during glasnost and the first post-independence years as religion re-emerged in public life. By the late 1990s, however, the state, feeling threatened by imported religious movements, introduced various laws that sharply decreased the autonomy that religious organizations had  been enjoying. Certain Islamic communities that did not accept this renewed state monopoly on religion then gained a reputation of being “controversial” and found themselves in conflict with the secular and religious authorities. This situation made religion an issue in the political arena – something previously unheard of in Azerbaijan. This article examines this development by studying two Islamic communities of this type. These are affiliated with two mosques in Baku – the Shiite Juma and the Sunni Abu Bakr mosques – which are distinguished both by their increasing popularity in society and by their wish to distance themselves from “other” traditional mosques. The article concludes that even though various external influences are present, the development of Islamic activism in Azerbaijan seems related primarily to disappointment at how the political elite has handled the political, economical, social and moral situation in the country since independence. As long as this situation does not improve, a rise in the influence of such movements is only to be expected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Universitetsforlaget AS , 2007. Vol. 21, no 3, 275-299 p.
Keyword [en]
Azerbaijan, religion, Islamic activism, post-Soviet Islam, official Islam, social movement theory
Keyword [sv]
Azerbajdzan, religion, muslimsk aktivism, oppositionell islam, postsovjetisk islam, social rörelseteori
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-212184OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-212184DiVA: diva2:676764
Available from: 2013-12-06 Created: 2013-12-06 Last updated: 2014-01-30Bibliographically approved

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Bedford, Sofie
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