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Friday 21st of January 2022
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Azeri religious committee bans call to prayer

Azeri religious committee bans call to prayer

Azerbaijani police have reportedly banned the Islamic call to prayer at the overwhelmingly-Muslim country's mosques on claims that the religious rite "disturbed the peace."

 

Azerbaijani police have reportedly banned the Islamic call to prayer at the overwhelmingly-Muslim country's mosques on claims that the religious rite "disturbed the peace."

The police have started to collect the speakers from the mosques and threatened to close the religious sites if the daily proclamations (the Azan) were broadcast.

The crackdown was launched on the orders of the Azeri Committee of Religious Affairs. The governmental committee's head, Hedayat Oruj has claimed that the ritual upset the public peace.

Haji Ilgar Ibrahimoglu, an imam and the head of the Centre for Protection of Freedom of Conscience and Faith, likened the claim to the excuses sought by the capital, Baku's municipal authorities to prevent public protests. He said the committee had to safeguard the religious freedom and facilitate rites like the Azan.

Ibrahimoglu said the ritual was a representative Islamic practice, which Muslims freely followed even in many Western countries. Muslims comprise 98 percent of the ex-Soviet state.

Baku, hailed as a Capital of Islamic Culture, however, has witnessed a series of mosque closures and fresh requirements for registration of religious organizations this year, the Central Asia and the Caucasus news outlet, Eurasianet had reported earlier in the year.

Police in May shut down or demolished mosques in various Baku neighborhoods for reasons ranging from electricity repairs to alleged construction irregularities, the website had said.

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