Secularism in Azerbaijan and the threat of radicalisation in the region

European Foundation for Democracy | EFD Report |

Within the framework of our Counter Radicalisation Programme, the European Foundation for Democracy is analysing the phenomenon of radicalisation in the European eastern and southern neighbourhoods.

We are examining the situation on the ground in a number of countries in the region – Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Georgia – with the aim of identifying patterns and trends as well as specific local and regional developments in order to provide specific policy recommendations. This will serve as a basis for comprehensive, well-tailored responses to the risks that religious radicalisation poses.

We have selected Azerbaijan as the first country in the series. A secular state with a majority-Muslim population, Azerbaijan is characterised by an enlightened and tolerant attitude towards religion and a high degree of peaceful cohabitation among different communities. Uniquely, it stands out as a country where Shia and Sunnis pray in the same mosque and are represented by a unified body, the Caucasus Muslim Board (CMB).

The findings of the research have been published in a report titled Secularism in Azerbaijan and the threat of radicalisation in the region.

About European Foundation for Democracy

The European Foundation for Democracy (EFD) is a Brussels and Berlin-based policy institute that has been working with civil society, academic, governmental and other stakeholders on the prevention of radicalisation for more than a decade. Through our work with these organisations and groups, EFD’s goal is to ensure that the universal values of the Enlightenment – political pluralism, respect for individual rights, government by democracy – remain the founding precepts of European security and prosperity.

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