Speech of the President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev in the ceremony on the occasion of the Day of Ashura - Tazapir mosque, June 9, 1995

Distinguished sisters and brothers!

Dear sons of Azerbaijan!

Today is a day of mourning and the day of Ashura for Muslims. Today, being faithful to our religion and traditions, we have gathered in the Tazapir Mosque and are commemorating His Excellency Hussein who was martyred for truth and justice. On this occasion I extend my condolences to all the Muslims of Azerbaijan and wish you to be patient. I wish Allah render patience to all the Azerbaijanis and Muslims.

Today we celebrate the holiness of martyrdom for justice. For centuries our people gave martyrs to survive, to protect the motherland and justice. The Azerbaijani people gave martyrs for last years too. Every Muslim, citizen of Azerbaijan who fell martyr for motherland passes to eternity as our Holy Imams. That is why, celebrating this historical day, we also commemorate the holiness of martyrs and pray for them.

Many of our people fall martyrs because of the Armenia`s aggression in the last years. Heroic sons and daughters of Azerbaijan gave their lives and fell martyrs. Today we commemorate their souls. They fall martyrs for our today and future life of our generations and protection of our motherland. Today we pray for their souls. I ask for you patience from Allah for the families of martyrs. I ask the mercy ofAllah upon our martyrs. I want to express my confidence that our struggle for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and integrity of our lands will come to an end with success, we will always recall the memory of our martyrs and sacrifices, the territorial integrity of our country will be ensured, our occupied territories released and our brothers and sisters be back home, to the lands who have been forced out.

Today, on this holy day all we pray Allah for it. Today, recalling memories of our martyrs, we pray Allah to gratify our people with patience and power to achieve liberation of our lands and provide the territorial integrity of the independent Azerbaijan and for our country`s living as a free state.

Our religion is free now. Every Azerbaijani, every Muslim is free to follow his religion. In this month of Maharram, especially last days, belief and obedience to our religion, ceremonies in mosques, as well as this ceremony in the Tazapir Mosque show that religion is free in our country and everybody can follow the order and desire of his conscience. It is a great basis for us that our people live in such free conditions.

Today, here, in front of you, I declare once more that we will further struggle for the independence of Azerbaijan and will not spare our full strength. Gathering our all strength to guarantee the territorial integrity of our country, we will enable it to survive and ensure its territorial integrity. The independent Republic of Azerbaijan must exist for the eternal memory of martyrs, the sacrifices which we gave. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be ensured. We will do all this. To achieve it, praying Allah, fulfilling our duties as Moslems, at the same time we must unite, and ensure the unity and solidarity of our people hand in hand.

I beg the mercy of Allah once again. I beg his mercy for the martyrs. I want to say that I am satisfied with opportunities of the people of Azerbaijan and every Muslim to obey his religion independently.

I wish Allah has his mercy on us.