Ali Ahmadov: Religion should not play role of socio-political regulator – “I don’t think one who prays 5 times a day is a better Muslim, while the other who doesn’t pray the same amount isn’t”

Baku: Religion is the core of national and moral values. Islam is also the core of national and moral values for Muslim communities, deputy chairman and executive secretary of New Azerbaijan Party (YAP), Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov said at the meeting “National-moral values: historicity, legacy and modernity”, jointly organized by the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations and Binagadi District Executive Power, APA reports.

Ahmadov said that a religion’s forming public policy processes leads to contradictions in the religion as well. “There are other factors that form public policy processes, and should be. For example, various parties, NGOs and other branches play an important role in the regulation of public policy processes. All these are socio-political regulators, accepted by the whole civilized world. However, there are some societies in which religion plays the role of national and moral values but also the role of political regulator in the form of radicalism. The reason for the formation of religious radicalism in several Muslim countries in the region is that the religion plays a socio-political regulatory role. Though this case is not specific to Azerbaijan, we have to be vigilant. We should be vigilant for the religion not playing a role of socio-political regulator,” he said.

Ahmadov also spoke about the disputes going on in society regarding the levels of being Muslim.

“I think if someone feels Muslim with the normal terms of Islam, he/she is Muslim. There is no need to make extra terms for modern society. For instance, I don’t think one who prays 5 times a day is a better Muslim, while the other who doesn’t pray the same amount isn’t. If we approach the issue within demands of the present day, it’s not right to look for criteria of being Muslim in this matter.

In terms of life demands of the modern day, it’s unfeasible to follow religious rituals or prayers as they should be. It’s improbable to regularly go to places of worship every day. Because if you keep on doing these on a daily basis, you won’t simply have time left for doing other things as a citizen. So from this point of view, I think we all have the right to feel Muslim,” he added.