Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has ordered the setting up of a special commission to halt demolition of Haji Javad Mosque located in 79 Abdulla Shaig Street, Yasamal district in Baku, President`s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov told Azertac.
Hasanov said the President is concerned about the situation around demolition of the mosque. “Taking into account the reaction of believers, the head of state gave directions to halt demolition of the mosque, comprehensively investigate the situation, evaluate the technical conditions of the building and submit relevant proposals.,” he said.
The official highlighted national leader Heydar Aliyev`s and President Ilham Aliyev`s invaluable role in preserving and restoring religious monuments, mosques and pilgrimage sites in Azerbaijan. “If there were only 17 mosques in Azerbaijan during the Soviet period, their number reached 2,166 at the beginning of 2017. 306 mosques are currently under state protection as historic monuments.”
He also hailed tolerance and co-existence of different religions in the country. “There has never been religious and ethnic discrimination in our country, and representatives of all religions have lived here in peace and mutual understanding. This is our lifestyle and the best way to confidently move forward.”
Hasanov said: “Azerbaijanis openly speaking against Islamophobia and working consistently to promote Islamic values around the world. Azerbaijan actively contributed to the organization of the Department of Islamic Arts in famous Louvre museum in France, and was the first Muslim country to demonstrate its exhibition in the Vatican. In 2009, Baku was declared the capital of Islamic culture with the support of ISESCO. In 2018, Nakhchivan, another ancient Azerbaijani city, was awarded this honorary title.”
He reminded that 2017 was declared “The Year of Islamic Solidarity” in Azerbaijan, adding that the country is organizing numerous international events to strengthen unity in the Muslim world and to show the whole world that Islam is a religion of peace and culture.
“I think that apart from being a sporting event, the Islamic Solidarity Games to be held in Baku this May will be the days of unity and solidarity of the Islamic world,” he added.
The Presidential Assistant highlighted large-scale construction and redevelopment work in the country, saying all social, economic and cultural infrastructure is being modernized.
“Modern parks, gardens, roads and buildings are being constructed in Baku. In this context, work carried out in Sovetski in Yasamal district is part of this modernization process in the capital. Old buildings and facilities with poor conditions are being demolished, and citizens are being provided with new houses,” he said.
Hasanov also called on citizens who gathered around Haji Javad Mosque to leave the area and create necessary working conditions for the newly established commission.