8 October 2012
Every Azerbaijani citizen must not and can not conduct the religious rites in the form of aggression and interference in the secular norms of the state and the pressure on public bodies, Head of Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Social and Political Department Ali Hasanov told Trend today.
He was commenting an attempt of radical believers to hold an uncoordinated rally in front of the Education Ministry.
"We will publicize our attitude to the rally organized in front of the Education Ministry, after the law enforcement bodies conduct investigation," he said.
Hasanov added that it is clear already that some groups calling themselves religious activists, want to put pressure on the authorities and the education bodies.
"Wearing yashmak in Azerbaijan is free, and conducting other religious practices is a private matter of every person," Hasanov noted.
The official noted that after work and studies, every person can go to the mosque, perform religious rites and ensure performing the necessary rituals.
"However, this must not and can not be in the form of aggression and interference in secular standards of the state and the pressure on public bodies," Hasanov underscored.
He said Azerbaijan has a secular system, which separates religion and state.
"The state does not interfere in the affairs of religion, as well as religion does not interfere in the affairs of the state," Hasanov said.
"As Azerbaijan is a secular state, the rules of conduct in the education system, official and other organizations are governed by the laws. The law on education also states that each pupil must have one uniform. Therefore, the attempts of some radical Islamic circles to present it as Azerbaijan's anti-Islamic policy have no grounds," he added.
Hasanov added that all the religious communities in Azerbaijan will condemn these incidents and forces that support such incidents, and will not allow similar things to happen in the future.
"We see the rallies held under the banner of Islam in foreign countries, numerous confrontations within countries, their pressure on state and cultural organizations," he said. "This pressure eventually hits these countries and peoples, while people behind this pressure use it for their own interests."
Hasanov said religious activity and activity of religious communities in Azerbaijan are fully regulated by the norms and laws.
"The activity of all religious communities, operating within the law, is free.
However, the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations and other bodies will take the measures towards the communities that violate the laws, social norms, try to intervene in public conduct to satisfy their own ambitions."
Around 200 radical believers gathered in front of the Education Ministry on Friday afternoon and attempted to hold an uncoordinated rally on Oct. 5.
Despite the warnings of the police to stop disturbing public order, the protesters continued their illegal actions.
Baku City Prosecutor's Office filed a criminal case upon the article 315.2 (using violence dangerous to life or health with respect to an official in connection with executing his duties or using violence to family members without any danger to life or health, but the threat of such violence) and 233 (organizing the actions disturbing the public order or active participation in these actions) of the Criminal Code.
The investigative group consisting of members of prosecution bodies and police officers was established to conduct complete and thorough investigation.