by GG Memmedli · 2020 — Sertcala mosque in 2008, Poniçala Soğanlık Ahl al-Bayt mosque in 2009 Marneuli within the Ahl al-Beit community, while Marağa. Hüseyiniye madrasa
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Islamic education and media in today’s Georgia Gülnara Goca Memmedl i Department of Georgian Language and Literature, Faculty of Humanities, Ardahan University, Turkey . ABSTRACT The aim of the article is to reveal the existence of the religion of Islam in the Republic of Georgia in the Caucasus geography and that the Islamic education has developed in Georgia today. The development process of Islam and Islamic education was followed during the independence period after the Soviet regime in Georg ia in 1991, and the activities of formal and distance education madrasas, schools and Koran courses established in the cities, towns, and villages of Azerbaijan Turks and other Muslim communities in the country were also mentioned. Information on Islamic s ocieties and Islamic media was provided. Keywords: Georgia, Islam in Georgia, Islamic education, madrasah, school, Koran courses, Islamic media. E-mail: INTRODUCTION Today, Islam has been known for centuries as the most preval ent religion after Christianity in the Republic of Georgia, situated in the center of the Caucasus. It was determined that the spread of Islam in Georgia began in the 7th centuries. It was observed that Islam started to spread in Georgia from the first yea rs of the Arab Islamic reign, called the Caliphate (Kiknadze , 2008; Islam in Georgia , 2020). The first Muslim population in Georgia began to surface in the 8th century. After the Arab invasion of Tbilisi, the Muslims became an integral part of the city’s special appearance. Islamic schools and madrasahs as social facilities depend on the development level of the Muslim community here. Tbilisi fihas become an important Islamic cultural center and many scholars , 2015: 22). In the 17th century, Ottoman -Turkish traveler , Evliya Çelebi , during his visit to Georgia introduced Tbilisi as an Islamic city , 2015: 81; Tsurtsumia , ges are also ancient (Memmedli , 2018: 24). In the years 1921 -1991, in accordance with the unique politics and ideology of the Soviet communist regime, Islamic places of worship were converted to warehouses, schools, and kolkhoz -sovhoz administrations in Ge orgia, and a ban on the notification of the religion was also imposed. In spite of this , religious lessons were taught secretly to Muslims in Georgia. Additionally , the mosques were built in Kasimli , 2010: 90). There are currently more than 600 thousand Muslims in Georgia (General populati on census , 2014). Here , it is seen that the following ethnic communities belonging to the religion of Islam exist: Acars, Meskhetian Turks, Avars, Borchali Turks, Muslim Abkhazians, Vayhanlar or and th e rest still survive. MET HOD OLOGY The materials obtained were generally statistical data from internet pages, interviews with the source persons, and individual observations of the author of the paper. The scientific research method is basically an anal ysis of the acquired information. On this occasion, due to the peculiar structure of the history of education, the descriptive -contemporary research method is mostly applied in constructing and concluding the research. African Educational Research Journal Special Issue 8(2), pp. S6 -S11 , October 2020 DOI: 10.30918/AERJ. 8S2 .20 .027 ISSN: 2354 -2160 Full Length Research Paper

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Problem situation and hypothesis The problem followed as a hypothesis , with Georgia being in close contact with the Islamic world for centuries, and in the corridors of Turkey and Azerbaijan ; this integrates religious and Islamic education which enables doctrinal development . RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Approach to Islam and Islamic societies After Georgia regained its independence in 1991, the country™s approach to Islam also changed positively. In Article 14 of the Georgian Constitution in force, fiequality before every abso lute justice i s determined and discrimination based on race, color, sex, origin, ethnicity, language, religion, political or other opinions, social affiliation, property, place of residence or other signs is prohibited fl. Regarding the freedom of belief, religion and con science of every person in the country in Article 16 of the Constitution, it is stated that : fidiscriminat ion based on one’s belief, religion or conscience is not allowed , and there is also freedom to be obliged to declare relationship with themfl (Constitut ion of Georgia , 2020). The freedom of religion in education is defined as follows in Article 18 of the Georgian Law on General Education, which was adopted in 2005: fiThe student, parent and teacher have the right to freedom of religion, belief and conscien ce, as determined by law, and the will to choose or change from any religion or to any religion or world view fl. Placing religious symbols on public school grounds should not serve non -academic purposes . Public school students have the right to voluntarily learn religion during school hours or perform religious ceremonies that serve as the study of religionfl (Law of Georgia on General education , 2017). The rights of Muslims, who are considered to be religious minorities in Georgia, are guaranteed by internat ional conventions. Georgia has taken the freedom of religion and belief of national minorities under its responsibility in the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities signed by the member states of the Council of Europe since 2006. In 1995, Turkey prepared “Quran Teachings” book for Muslim Georgians and published it in Ankara. The annotated translation of the holy Islam book from Arabic to Georgian by Giorgi Lobjanidze in 2006 is important to note . Avtandil Silakadze translated some pa rts of the Bible from the original translation . Currently , Batumi, are continuing their work on the translation of the Quran into Georgian. Beginning from the 17th Œ19th centuries and early 20th century , the following mosques Gök Masjid, Sultan Memmedli 7 Murat Mosque, Cuma Masjid in Tbilisi city ; Aziziye ; Tekeli; Genceli, Kabal, Karacala, Ahmeta Duisi in the , as well as Mshaldidi mosques and other mosques, served as venues where important activities in the direction of Islamic educatio n were carried out , and masjid buildings were built after 1991 . These activities are still in progress till date . Tbilisi Friday mosque is the center of worship for Muslims in the eastern part of Georgia. Sunni and Shia believers worship together in the mo sque. The mosques and masjids opened after 1991 include: In Tbilisi city – in 2001; In – mosque belonging to Meskhetian Turks that Naminaur, Zebudan, Dertsel, Mohe, Kehovani, Çela, Zarzma, Zanav, Gorze vill age m osques; New mosque belonging to the Cysts in the village of Duisi, in Ahmeta district, in 2001 . In Bolnisi district – Zol Güveç mosque in 2003 ; Bolnis Kepenekçi village mosque in 2007, and in Dmanisi district – Dmanisi mosque in 2006 . In Gardabani di strict – Karacalar mosque in 2002, Sertcala mosque in Ahl al -Bayt mosque in 2009, Aktehle Molla Hasan mosque in 2010, in 2010, Kalinin mosque in 2012, Karatehle in 2012 , New mosque . In Gori district – Zezman mosque in 1994, and in the town of Gudauta – Friday mosque . In Kareli district Œ Down neighborhood mosque in in 2010, while in Kaspi district – mosque in 2002, and Ferma village mosque in 2005, and in Lagodehi distri ct – Uzuntala mosque in 1996, Genceli Imam Hussein mosque in 2010, and Nigvziani mosque in Lançhuti district in 2012 . In Marneuli district – in 1993, Yukari Saral Imam Zaman mosque in 1998, Alget Imam Riza mosque in 1999, Sarvan Imam Al i Cuma mosque in 2000, Baytalli mosque in 2001, Beyler mosque in in in in 2003, Kireç in 2003, Moll Mosque in in 2005 and 2007 , in 2009 , Akmemmedli mosque in 2010 , Candar Imam Cafer Sadiq mosque in 2010 , Mamey Hazreti Ali mosque in 2010 , in 2010 , Sadakl in 2010 ,

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Tekeli Imam Hasan mosque, and Ekrem mosque in 2010 . In Msheta district – Mshaldidi mosque in 2010 . In Sagareco district – Kazlar mosque in mosque in 1999, Lembeli Teze mosqu e in 2001, Keseli in 2002 . In Sukhum city – Friday mosque . In Telav district – Karacala mosque in 1997 . In the district of Tetrisharo – Kosalar New mosque in 2008, and in the district of Zalka – Sarvan mosque in 2000, etc. According to official statistics, the number of Islamic ummah in Georgia was 433,784 in 2002. This figure corresponds to 9.9 % of the country’s population. According to alternative information, more than 500,000 Muslims live in Georgia. In 2008, there were 286 mosques, medcid and prayer houses in the country, with the exception of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (All -Georgian Muslim Board , 2020). In the municipal centers and villages of the country, Islamic religious precursors carried out extensive te aching and teac hing activities. Azerbaijani youth s in Georgia continued their activities after returning home from Turkey, Iran, Syria, Arabia and in other countries, receiving religious education in the city of Medina, Istanbul, Cairo, and Kum. Among these, Ali Aliev, A nar Veliev, Aziz Nebiev, Elçin Aliev, Faik Nebiev, Mashall ah Igidov, Rasim Mammadov, Rizvan Ismailov, Yasin Aliev, and others made significant contributions to the Islamic enlightenment of the people ( , 2020). d educatio n in other countries or other communities due to the lack of opportunities for religious education , was considered a et al. , 2016: 232) . In cities and villages, mullah and imams like Abdunnesir Seferov Anar Nurmemmedov, Anar Veliev, Azer Mammedov, u, Elçin Mammedov, Hammed Muhaev, Hasan Hasanov, Hasan Ali dov, Kamil Muradov, Kadir Piriev, Mahir Kuluev, Mahmud Berhudarov, Mahmud Ahmedov, Mashallah Ahmedov, Musa Karaev, Mustafa Cobanov, Mutu Mutuev, Mubariz Sadikov, Muslum Ahmedov, Namik Huseyinov, Najaf Niy azi Emirhanov, Nowruz Murtuzov, Nevruz Ali Süleyman Afr Educ Res J 8 Vukar Fetiev, Yasin Aliev, Ziyeddin Mammadov and others , serve d in the Islamic education of their citizens (Mammadov , 2020). Formal and distance education madrasas The city of Tbilisi is one of the rare cities in the world where r eligions, languages, and civilizations co -exist with its churches, mosque s, and synagogue s. During the Soviet era, an unofficial madrasa operated at the Tbilisi Juma Mosque. In the post -Soviet era of independence, certain activities towards Islamic educati on have been implemented ( Kantaria , 2020). It has been recognized that the inability to obtain higher religious education in Georgia leads those who wish to pursue religious education to travel abroad and, in many cases, clergy who receive education abroa d tend to avoid their own community when they return to their own countries et al. , 2016: 411). Presently , Imam Ali madrasah within the Tbilisi Juma Masjid/mosque, Hazrat Zehra madrasah, Imam Reza madrasah in Marneuli city, fiRight Path fl distance education madrasah in various living areas and its branches play important role s in the Islamic education of local Azeri Turkish children and young people. Several madrasahs are still active till date as follows (Mammadov , 2020) : – Imam Ali Madrasah – It was established in 1998 by the Tbilisi Juma Masjid and boys were educated here. It was converted into a madrasa of Hazreti Zehra in 2006. – Hazrat Zehra Madrasah – The status of Imam Ali Madrasah, which was opened in 1998 at the Tbilisi Juma Masjid, was changed to a girls madrasah in 2006. Here, girls were taught the Koran, Isla mic history, ethics , Arabic language, Persian language, Georgian language, and English language. – Ahli Bayt distance education madrasa is located in Marneuli city center. More than 6 thousand students have been trained in this madrasa, whose director is Imam Juma Haji Rasim Mamm adov. – Imam Reza Madrasah was established in the city of Marneuli in 1997 with the initiatives of local clergy and the support of Iran’s Foreign Madrasahs Administration. was the , a teacher, was intended for boys. In the three -year education program, students offered courses on the Qur’an, Islamic history, Morals, Sharia, Oratory, Arabic -Persian, British, Georgian languages, and computer courses. – Hanim Zehra madrasah teaches Islam ic lessons in Marneuli within the Ahl al -Beit community , while Hüseyiniye madrasa operates under the city of Ka Ma There are formal or distance education madrasah

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branches in some Islamic places of worship as follows (Mammadov , 2020): – – fiA madrasah built next to the mosque. Here, children from many villag es came to study religion. They were provided with free meals and dormitories. In addition to studying religion, they also took Mathematics, Georgian language , 2010: 174). – Marneuli Upside Saral madrasah – fiThe education of religious lessons and a distance education madrasa was , 2010: 207). Measures have been taken to bring the madrasah education together under an official roof in the country. In 2015 , in an interview of the Georgia Religious Affairs Agency, it was stated that Muslims would be educated in two madrasas, one of them would be established in Tbilisi and the other one in Batumi . The construction of the Batumi madrasa was completed, and the work of the Tbilisi madrasa is on going , 2016: 237). Quran lessons Religious lessons and Quran courses are o rganized by most of the mosques, such as: – Aktehle mosque : fiIslamic Ethics and Tafsir lessons were established in the mosque by Alican Hüseyinov, and lessons of teaching th e Qur’an to children by other , 2010: 260). – : In the mosque, village inhabitants of Mescedi Kemran attended religious lessons for children, and Seyid Eldeniz played a major role in their Islamic smailzade , 2010: 160). – : fiit contained lecture rooms, with an established , 2010: 282). – Asagi Saral mosque : fiHere, the students of the madrasa taught the Koran to dozens of children and mailzade , 2010: 203). – Baydar mosque : Here the Koran was taught by Hammed Muhaev to 7 -8 children on Fridays , 2010: 155). – : fiSince the day the mosque started its activities, lessons of religion, the Koran, Islamic Ethics and Hi story of Islam, Ahkâm, and Akait etc have been , 2010: 170). – Beyler Mosque : fiAt various times, religious courses were organized here, and children were given Qur’anic who was appointed as a mullah in the mosque in 2004, has been giving religious lessons in the mosque for a while fl , 2010: 153). – The Great : fiThe students of madrasahs opened Quran courses in the mosque, Memmedli 9 taugh t children lessons, and introduc ed them to Islamic d teaches religion lessons here fl , 2010: 169). – : Sharia lessons were taught to children in the mosquefl , 2010: 159). – Levelrem mosque : fiKoran and religion courses were , 2010: 326). – Huldere mosque : fiQuran courses were established by , 2010: 175). – : ” Molla Cebrail gave religious lessons to childrenfl teaching hundreds of children to read the Koran and giving religion lessons in the mosque for several yearsfl , 2010: 318). – Karatehle mosque : For many years, the mullah of the reading Islamic education among the villagers and teaching children the , 2010: 262). – Marneuli Imam Ali Cuma mosque : “Children were taught lessons in the Qur’an, History, Sharia and , 2010 : 137). fiOn Mondays, the Koran Tafsir lesson is given, while the prayer of Tevessül is read on Tuesday, and the Kumeyl prayer is read on Thursday. The recitation of the Qur’an is taught on Saturdays. Rasim Mammadov, the head of the Ahl al -Bayt association, teaches Shariah only once a week fl(Ismailzade , 2010: 141). – Sabirkend mosque : fiA Qur’an course was established , 2010: 148). – : fiHere , religion lessons were taught to , 2010: 177). – : children the Qur’an and religion. Here, preachings are read to believers and they are introduced to the depths , 2010: 129 -130). – Zol Güveç mosque : fiThere is a lecture room in the courtyard ; the mosque is where the Koran and religion les sons are taught , 2010: 283). In Ajaria, Quran courses and Arabic alphabet lessons are also organized within the mosques. Islamic societies and media The Administration of Caucasian Muslims in Tbilisi, Georgian Repre sentation, General Georgian Muslims Administration, “Alulbait”, “Hak Yolu”, “Faith”, “Ahli Beyt” in the city of Marneuli, “Ahli Beyt Wisdom” in Gardabani district, “El Hikmet”, Georgian Muslims Union , and The Administration of the Muslims of Abkhazia, etc , associations and unions carried out important activities in the direction of Islamic education. Administration of the Caucasus Muslims , Georgia

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Representation , has been operating since 1996. The working office is in the Tbilisi city ™s Friday m osque building and the The Administration of the Muslims of Ab khazia was established in 1999. Faith culture -education institution was opened in 2000 with the dabani district. Ahli Beyt religion, culture -education society was registered with the status of a non -governmental organization in 2001 , with the initiatives of the following local clerics , Ali Aliev, Aziz Nebiev, Faik Nebiev, Rasim lzade and others , in the city of Marneuli , with the support of the International Ahl Bayt Organization. It is situated in a two -stor ey building in the city center of Marneuli. Important factors , such as enriching formal and distance education and benefitin g from religious values have always been and are at the forefront in Ahl al – , 2019: 194). It guides the Quran, the Prophet, the words and behavior of His Ahlli Beyt, along with the three basic principles of Islamic education, creed, morals , and ethics. It is chaired by Imam Juma Haji Rasim Mammadov , while and Esmira Nasibova are active members of the society. There are courses such as the Koran, Arabic -Persian, Georgian and English la nguages for the enlightenment of the people. Library and video -audio were created in the community. Distance education madrasa was opened and with the help of the association, courses of Koran and Sharia lessons are in operation in the city of Marneuli a nd in the villages. “Nur” literary assembly, “Ahli Beyt Lovers Forum”, “Zeynep” women’s union, and “Islammedya” internet television channel are active in the society (Memmedov , 2020). Below are some established centres and societies: – Ahl al -Bayt Center : This was established in 2002 by the initiative of Tbilisi believers and Iran’s ” Ahl al -Bayt” community. It is located in the city of Tbilisi at “Ortacala street, 3”. Among the important activities of the center, the organization of religious courses and computer courses is noteworthy. The library here contains more than 2000 books ( , 20 20). – Ahl al -Bayt Wisdom Institution : This was officially registered in 2004 with its office in the city of Gardabani. The e, religious lessons, the Koran, Islamic History, Islamic Ethics, Georgian language, English language , and Computer lessons are taught. With the organization of the society, religious lessons are also given in the cities of Gardabani, Rustavi, and in the v illages of Tehle, Candar, and Birlik. – El Hikmet culture -education society: This was founded in 2004 in the city of Gardabani. Its installer is Seyid Riyaz Physician. The Koran, Islamic Teaching, Islamic Ethics, Islamic History, Georgian and English Afr Educ Res J 10 languages, and Computer courses are formally active here . – Right Path Society : This owned an office in Botanic street in Tbilisi city from 1997 to 2004 ; it disseminated Islamic education through distance learni ng, sharing publicly related books and other literature s. It has representation offices in the regions and in 2004, its name was changed to “Faith culture -education society fl. – Faith Culture -Education Institution : This was established in 2004 in the city o f Tbilisi. It constitutes face -to -face and distan ce lessons in different places. – High Religious Administration for Muslims of Georgia : This was established on 15 th July , 2011 , and consists of three administrative units, the East , West Georgia Mufti and t he General Georgian Sheikh. Yasin Aliev, Mufti of East Georgia, Cemal Paksadze, Mufti of West Georgia, sheikh of Georgia , Ramin Igidov, and then Sey id Mirtagi Esedov were elected. – Ahl al -Bayt Lovers Forum : This has been operating in Marneuli as part of the Ahl al -Bayt Society since 2014. Its founder Ezadarism performances, f estival events and conferences. – Tbilisi branch of the International al -Mustafa University : The Geor gian representative of the university is Davud Zare. Its teacher of the Qur’an is Rahid Kerimov. – Hüseyiniye religion -culture center : It is located in front mosque in the city of Marneuli. – Georgian Muslim Union Œ this has an office in B atumi. – Zeynep Women’s Association : this is located in Marneuli and belongs to the Ahl al -Beit Community. It plays an important role in the Islamic enlightenment of women in Georgia ( , 2020 ; Mammadov , 2020) . It should be emphasized that articles with Islamic content play an important role in the journals published by the Islamic societies in Tbilisi, Batumi, Marneuli and Gardabani cities. “” internet newspaper which has been in existence since 2006 , is the virtual press organ of the Ahl al -Bayt association in Marneuli. It has become an effective social network with the administration of Cengiz Suleymanov (Ahli , 2020). Below are some published journals, magazines and websites: – fiAhl al -Bayt fl magazine : This was published in the city of M arneuli as the press organ of the association with the same name. It was published with the active participation of Elman Keleyev, Nizami Mammadzade, Shureddin Mammedli and others, with the title ” “. The magazi ne featured many important articles on religious issues. – fiFaithfl website : This was established in 2009 , and operates within the culture and education institution of the same name and publishes religious information , as well as information in the field of culture and education.

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So far, more than nine thousand useful materials have been published on the page. – fiFaithfl Assembly : This is the periodical press organ of the culture -education institution of the same name. Articles on religious, cultural and social issues and various contents are constantly published in the magazine. Nearly 150 issues of the magazine are presented to readers with an internet version made available. – “Islammedya” internet television channel : This is in Marneuli, and is part o f Ahl al -Bayt community. Lottery is held in the region and the program “Our Values” is of great interest. – “Mucteba” magazine : This has been published by Tbilisi “Ahl al -Bayt” cultural center since 2004 , and has earned popularity among children. – fiNumune vi Ailefl magazine : this is the publication of Hazrat Zehra madrasah in front of Tbilisi Friday Mosque. It aims to put families in close proximity with Islamic training. Under various headings, readers are presented with r eligious and spiritual motives. – “Rtzmena” The Faith newspaper: this is published once a month in Georgian by the Religious Administration of the Muslims of Ajaria. CONCLUSION The Republic of Georgia is a country that has taken important steps towards democratization in the Caucasian ge ography. The provision of fundamental freedoms, especially religious rights, is one of the priorities of the country’s politics. In this respect, it is seen that Muslim communities in the country perform free Islamic worship, and Islamic education is carri ed out within the framework of the constitution and related laws. As a result of our research and in the research that is open to debate, the opinion we have reached is as follows: being in close contact with the Islamic world for centuries, with Georgia acting as a corridor between Turkey and Azerbaijanhere in the religion, this facilitates the development of doctrine , fosters civilization, integration and , at the same time , Islamic education . REFERENCES Ahli Beyt Internet newspaper ( 2020 ). http://www.a hli – All -Georgian Muslim Board (2020 ). http://www.amag. ge(access 2.7.2020). , C. ( 2015 ). Turks in Georgia and Turkish works. New Turkey, Ankara, 78/8:72 Œ84. 2016 ). Muslim com munities in Georgia. Ankara: Libra publishing. Constitution of Georgia (2020 ). -/en/document/view/30346?publication=36(2.7.2020). General population census (2014 ). National statistics office of Georgia. sults Memmedli 11 H, T. ( 2019 ). Miras.Tiflis:Tbiliselebiyay. , A. ( 2015 ). The spread of Islamic culture and civilization in Georgia. New Turkey. Ankara, 78/8: 7 Œ23. Islam in Georgia (2020 ). -dict/indeh.php. _ (2.7.2020). , R. ( 2020 – source person). Professor of Marneuli Ehli Beyt madrasah in Georgia, born in 1969 in Bolnisi district. Interview date: Conducted on 2.2.2020. , R. ( 2010 ). Islamic monuments in Georgia. Marneuli: Ahl al -Bayt publications. Kantaria , K. ( 2020 ). ,. . Tbilisi city mosques. -post_527(2.7.2020). Kiknadze , Z. ( 2008 ). Religions in Georgia. ,. . Tiflis: Toleransobapublications. Law of Georgia on General education (2017 ). im2.7.2020). Memmedli , 2018 ). Turkish literature in Georgia. Erzurum: Phenomenon publish ing. Memmedov , R. M. ( 2020 ). (Haji Rasim Mammadov – source person). President of the Georgian Marneuli Ahl al -Beit community. (Born in 1970 in Marneuli County). Interview date: 2.2.2020. Tsurtsumia , Z. ( 2015 ). Islam in Georgia: its history and present. New Turkey, magazines. Ankara, (78/8): 24 -33. Citation : Memmedli , G. G. (2020). Islamic education and media in today’s Georgia . African Educational Research Journal, 8(2): S6 -S11 .

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