Monday, April 20, 2009

BLOG: PhD thesis: What are the Motives for Islamic Activism in Azerbaijan? (

The perception that the global rise of Islamic activism is nurtured by a phenomenon depicted as “Global Jihad” is contested in a recent PhD dissertation titled "Islamic Activism in Azerbaijan: Repression and Mobilization in a Post-Soviet Context". Dr. Sofie Bedford focused upon the growing Juma (Shiite) and the Abu Bakr (Sunni) mosque communions in Baku and argues in her thesis that they are, by and large, being nurtured by politics on a national level. The mobilization of Islamic activism in Azerbaijan can be understood as a result of:

(a) The younger generations wish to break ties with Soviet institutional structures, in particular those that are characterized by authoritative measures towards individual choice
(b) Discontent with societal development after Azerbaijan’s independence

Azerbaijan, considered as
one of the least religious nations in the world, has since the end of the 1990’s experienced repressive state measures towards domestic Islamic movements. The pretext for state sanctioned clampdowns against the growing national opposition with distinguishable Islamic features required, according to decision makers, unorthodox countermeasures.

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