By making the Islamic movement its primary target over the past three years, the regime has actually bestowed greater credibility on the movement as the only legitimate opposition to its oppressive policies and therefore, worthy of public support.
Between February 16 and 18, security forces of the unelected authoritarian regime of Azerbaijan went on a massive arresting spree detaining more than 60 members of the Islamic movement. In typical style, the late night raids began in Nardaran, the heartland of Azerbaijan’s Islamic revival. The regime’s security forces arrested 20 residents of Nardaran including Anar Bayramov, who works as a journalist for Sahar TV in Azerbaijan. The allegation against him, that has become typical of the regime’s style, was that he was in “possession” of three grams of heroin!
According to Yashar Bayramov, brother of the detained journalist, the police planted drugs in Anar’s pocket when he was taken to the police station in Binaqadi for questioning. He had taken off his jacket to answer the security officials’ questions; they used this opportunity to surreptitiously slip drugs into his pocket. Anar Bayramov was not the only journalist detained in the crackdown on the Islamic movement in Azerbaijan. Ebulfet Bunyadov, Deputy Editor of the well known newspaper, Islam Heqiqetleri (Truth of Islam) was also arrested in the early hours of February 18.
Illegal arrests and detention of members of the Islamic Movement were not confined to Nardaran alone. Zohrab Quliyev from Sumgayt city was detained by regime’s thugs after firearms were planted on him. In Ganja city, a well known Islamic scholar Asef Aliyev was arrested by the traffic police and charged with “hooliganism” and imprisoned for two months. In the capital, Baku, Mehdi Mamedov an Islamic activist and chairman of the National Moral Values Society was arrested at the police station where he was called for questioning by members of the intelligence ministry that are notorious for terrorizing people. In other parts of Baku, Seyed Elbrus Ibadov, Seymur Zeynalov and Haji Aliyev were also arrested after firearms were planted on them by the police. According to the Azeri website, Azadxeber.az, in Badamdar region, the regime’s thugs detained 40 practicing Muslims.
The latest crackdown on the Islamic movement launched by the unelected regime of Ilham Aliyev is an escalation of the standoff with the citizens of Azerbaijan. It is not coincidental that the crackdown was launched just days after The Times of London published an interview with an Israeli spy who claimed that Azerbaijan was ground zero for spying activities against Islamic Iran. On February 12 Iran issued a protest note to the Azeri regime for its assistance to Mossad in assassinating Iranian nuclear experts Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan and Massoud Ali-Mohammadi.
Strategic relations between Aliyev and Zionist Israel were always an open secret that just became a little more obvious. Currently Israel buys 30% of its oil from the Aliyev regime. It seems that in coordination with Israel the regime decided to strike first in order to prevent Muslim activists from protesting against the latest revelations of illegal Israeli presence and activities in Azerbaijan.
The move may provide Aliyev some tactical advantage but past experience shows that the arrest of Muslim activists always creates more problems for the regime in the long-term. By making the Islamic movement its primary target over the past three years, the regime has actually bestowed greater credibility on the movement as the only legitimate opposition to its oppressive policies and therefore, worthy of public support. It has also strengthened the movement’s resolve to continue the struggle.
Events in the Muslim East have shown that Israel’s old strategy of backing despots like Hosni Mubarak and Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali are ultimately doomed to fail. Continuation of this outdated policy in Azerbaijan shows that politically Israel is bankrupt and it cannot adapt to the changing global reality. Israeli investment in fragile regimes like those of Mubarak’s shows that a scenario similar to that in Tunisia and Egypt where anti-Israeli political forces won the greatest percentage of peoples’ vote, will also manifest itself in Azerbaijan. It is unlikely that the people of Azerbaijan will forget Israeli support for Aliyev who continues to plunder the country’s resources, like the Shah of Iran did before his ignominious ouster from power. Aliyev is destined to suffer a similar fate and Zionist support will not be able to save his skin. The Zionist regime itself is destined to oblivion, soon rather than later. The march of history cannot be reversed.