The Dialectics of Post-Soviet Modernity and the Changing Contours of Islamic Discourse in Azerbaijan
Author: Murad Ismayilov (Darwin 2007)
Publisher: Lexington Books
This book offers a detailed account of the dynamics behind the religious-secular divide in Azerbaijan over the past two decades of independence and the conditions underlying the ongoing process of normalisation of Islamic discourse and the rising cooperation across the country's secular-religious political landscape and looks into some future dynamics this transformation is set to unleash. It begins with an outline of hybrid intentionality behind the elite's manifold attitudes to Islam, with particular focus on the strategy of separation between religion and politics in which those attitudes have found expression. It then proceeds to show the complicity of civil society and the broader populace, as well as the international community and the country's Islamic stratum itself, in the reproduction of the narrative of Islamic danger and the resultant religious-secular divide in post-Soviet Azerbaijan. The study then continues with an account of a number of dialectical tensions inherent in policy outcomes to which the hybrid nature of elite intentionality has given rise. It then follows on to discuss key factors contributing to the ongoing normalisation of Islam across the public realm and the gradual bridging of the religious-secular divide amidst the ongoing state repression. The volume concludes with a comparative insight into some common features and conditioning factors behind the dynamics underlying the religious-secular nexus in Azerbaijan and across the broader region of the Middle East. It also offers an insight into some future potentialities that the current dynamics have laid bare.