Azerbaijan: A Model of Tolerance

By Azer Hasret, azer@azerhasret.com

Nina Davuluri, a US citizen of Indian origin has won “Miss America” 2013 which caused outrage of racist attacks. As soon as 24 years old Nina has won the competition just started to get racist threats. She was accused of being an Arabian, or just for being not white.

Nina`s color is not white indeed, but she is a full-fledged citizen of US. But the US society, which claims that it has reached the peak of human rights and democracy, could not digest the victory of the person of Indian origin.

A 16 year old Muslim girl in France has tried to commit a suicide. The reason was an attack committed by two skinheads, which happened due to her being a Muslim. According to French media reports the skinheads attacked the girl just for her Islamic belief. While attacking the girl the skinheads shouted anti-Islamic slogans as well. The young girl could not tolerate this attack and tried to commit a suicide by drinking a poison. But while she didn`t achieve her goal then jumped from the 4th floor of her apartment. And this time also she was lucky: just survived with injuries.

In the city of Leipzig of Germany neo-Nazis have desecrated the place which is separated to build a Mosque. On November 15 the firefighters have got a call about a fire in the place. But while arriving to the scene they saw something else. 5 pig heads and a pool of blood on the place for Mosque shocked them.

While all these happened around, the world has marked “The Tolerance Day” on November 16. Marking this day at the UN level causes one more reason to pay a look to the level of tolerance in different countries.

Azerbaijan was brought to attention as one of the most tolerant countries in the ratings. And this is not by chance. Indeed, Azerbaijan is at the top of 5 most tolerant countries of the world according to VestnikKavkaza.net: “Azerbaijan may be an example of religious tolerance; it was ahead of the level of tolerance of not only Asian, but most European countries. The country with 95% of the population who are Muslims was able to secure a peaceful and comfortable accommodation of people of other faiths and nationalities and to earn praise from the vice-president of the European Parliament. The model of tolerance in Azerbaijan today is considered an example for the Muslim world and is actively being discussed at many international conferences and forums. The country’s leaders believe that people, no matter what religion they belong to, are obliged to respect all other cultures, religions , moral values and be tolerant to all traditions, whether they are acceptable to them or not”.

Other countries at the top 5 are Australia, Argentina, Canada and Sweden.

The international organizations, the guests repeatedly note that there is no signs of religious, national and racial discrimination in Azerbaijan. Even there is no any sign of anti-Semitism which is wide-spread in many leading European countries. And in the history of Azerbaijan it existed never. That’s why the Jews perceive Azerbaijan as the best country to live. Even those Jews coming for the first time to Azerbaijan, after getting around and travelling within the country, having meetings with local Jews say this. If to get into consideration that there are problems for Jews in many Islamic countries, this fair approach towards Azerbaijan pleases us. We shall note that it is not casual that one of the few only Jewish settlements outside of Israel is located in Azerbaijan. We are talking about Krasnaya Sloboda, which is in Quba region of Azerbaijan.

President Aliyev with religious leaders

President Aliyev with religious leaders

This kind high level of tolerance in Azerbaijan shows itself not only in regard to Jews, but in regard to Buddhists, Christians and even to those religious minorities which are oppressed in US and many European countries.

By the way, the tolerance in Azerbaijan is shown as an example by the European high level representatives. Laszlo Surjan, the vice-president of the European Parliament, who attended a conference, titled “Religious minorities in Azerbaijan” in Baku on November 13, has noted: “It is my greatest pleasure to be able to praise the country for the very promising developments in accommodating non-Muslim minorities in the 96% Islamic Azerbaijan. I believe that their model constitutes a role model for the Muslim world, therefore it is most important to make the added value of such peaceful co-existence visible for all of us. This might be helpful for the problematic countries of the Arab Spring and might also contribute to fight Islamophobia in Western countries”.

As says the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “tolerance means recognizing that our diversity is a strength”.

Yes, Azerbaijan is like so. People of different religion, nationality, and ethnic origin hundreds of years live here in peace and prosperity and don`t even notice the differences between themselves.

People of this country of different national and religious background fight together for this land and die as a hero together. They can rejoice together, share difficulties together as well.

Azerbaijan is one of the few countries of the world where no one feels him/herself as a newcomer, foreigner. Be the person a member of minority or majority, Azerbaijan is a country to live with comfort and with no difference.

Unfortunately some separatists with support of outsiders try to impair this unity. But they face serious opposition from the community which belong themselves as well. And this once more shows that Azerbaijan indeed is a model country in regard to attitude towards different religion, nationality and race bearers.

Despite this those governing the world approach Azerbaijan with double standards: Armenia keeps Azerbaijani lands under occupation, we are blamed for intolerance towards Armenians. Our neighbors conduct presidential election accompanied by armed attacks, Azerbaijan conducts presidential election in peace, but again election in Azerbaijan is brought to global attention as a civil confrontation. While just raising our voice we demand national rights and this time are blamed in nationalism. The state neutralizes those who try to stir up the situation backed by hostile centers, in this case they are included into the list of political prisoners. So whatever Azerbaijan does, those international centers are not happy… But Azerbaijan is on its way towards new tomorrows…

Photos are taken from president.az

Source: ireport.cnn.com

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