Salafism in Azerbaijan: Changing the Sunni-Shiite Balance from Within

In: Iran and the Caucasus
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  • 1 Ariel University, Israel
  • 2 Ariel University, Israel

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The main effort of the Azerbaijani government regarding the historical conflict between the Shiites and the Sunnis in the state, is to keep the status quo between these factions. However, the Arab Spring’s regional impact and the emergence of ISIS (ISIL and IS) led to waves of religious radicalisation, especially in the Sunnite part of Azerbaijan, which is more Turkic aligned, yet far territorially from the immediate influence of the Islamic radicalism. The article’s main conclusion is that the Islamic radicalisation in Azerbaijan could emerge only as a result of the structurally unbalanced status quo, which the Sunnis view as favouring more the Shiites.

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