Central Asia Reader: The Rediscovery of History

By H. B. Paksoy | Go to book overview

Sheik-ul-Islam al-Haj Allahsükür Pashazade


Address to the Fourth International Conference on Central Asia

The tradition of Islam was already thirteen centuries old by the year 1920, a turning point for my land, when the invasion of the Red Army resulted in the overthrow of the legitimate government of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic and the proclamation of Soviet power.

. . . We have to recognize that the idea of socialism, its promising slogans and declarations proved attractive for the masses of Azerbaijan, primarily because they responded to their aspirations for social justice, a free and dignified life. Naturally, their hearts could not but respond to such declarations in the first postrevolutionary years as, for instance, the Soviet government's Appeal "To All Toilers of Russia and the East." It stated, among other things:

Henceforth, your beliefs and customs, your national and cultural traditions shall be declared free and inviolate. Arrange your national life freely and without hindrance. You have a right to this. Know that your rights, just like the rights of all peoples of Russia are protected by the entire might of the revolution and its organs.

What could be more convincing than those words signed by Lenin himself? A religion free of supervision, pressure, and suspicion of power, and government

Sheik-ul-Islam al-Haj Allahsükür Pashazade read the text of this address to the Fourth International Conference on Central Asia, held at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, September 27-30, 1990.

Excerpts from the address were published in the AACAR Bulletin, vol. 4, no. 1 (spring 1992). The English translation was provided by Mr. Pashazade.

At the time of the address, Sheik-ul-Islam al-Haj Allahsükür Pashazade was a USSR people's deputy as well as the Muslim Spiritual Board Chairman for the Caucasus Region, based in Baku, Azerbaijan.

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