Friday, May 28, 2010

Another mosque threatened with closure

The Radio Liberty website is carrying news today of the closure of Sunni mosque outside Azerbaijan. The government's relationship with organized Islam is complicated. On one hand, the government sometimes has seemed eager to curry favor with religious authorities. On the other hand, it has on occasion acted repressively, especially against sects such as the Wahhabis. I think the guiding principle is constant across all authoritarian states. Any rival power center will be viewed suspiciously if not hostilely by the central government.