President Aliyev: Azerbaijan has become one of centers of multiculturalism in the world
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.26
Azerbaijan has become one of the centers of multiculturalism in the world, and this honorary status is already recognized by the world community, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev addressing on Oct.25 the opening of the 6th Baku International Humanitarian Forum held under the slogan “Shaping a New World and a New Humanity: Creativity and Human Development”.
“Representatives of various religions and nations lived in Azerbaijan like one family in the conditions of peace, friendship and tranquility for centuries, and this policy continues today. Our state policy in this direction is very effective and leads to excellent results. Our historical past and culture show that representatives of various religions have always lived peacefully like one family in Azerbaijan. Our historical and religious monuments speak volumes about our ancient history and show that Azerbaijan was a native land and a native place for representatives of various religions. We are proud that one of the oldest mosques of the Muslim world, the mosque built in the city of Shamakhi in 743, is our national treasure. At the same time, one of the most ancient churches of the Caucasus, a church of Caucasian Albania, is located near another ancient Azerbaijani city, the city of Sheki. Both of these temples have been refurbished and restored and are being protected by the state. An ancient temple of fire worshipers, Atashgah, is located in Baku. This indicates that the traditions of Zoroastrianism exist in Azerbaijan,” said the head of state.
President Aliyev noted that the restoration and construction of temples of traditional religions, Catholic and Orthodox churches and synagogues, are a reality in Azerbaijan.
“This reality creates an excellent public setting in our country. Multiculturalism is a state policy in Azerbaijan. We are very attached to our national and religious traditions, we are committed to them, our national values play a special role in our future development. I can say that the modern Azerbaijani state rests on deep national values, national and spiritual values. At the same time, we are open to the world,” said the head of state.
“As I have already noted, Azerbaijan has become one of the centers of multiculturalism in the world, and this honorary status is already recognized by the world community. It is no coincidence that by my Order we declared 2016 a Year of Multiculturalism in Azerbaijan. I believe that such an initiative was the first of its kind in the world. This demonstrates our intentions. Having declared 2016 a Year of Multiculturalism, we, first of all, wanted to introduce Azerbaijan to the world the way it is. We wanted to show that multiculturalism in Azerbaijan is both a state policy and a way of life. At the same time, we tried to attract the attention of the world community to this issue because, as you are also well aware, politicians, public figures and the media today are voicing rather contradictory thoughts regarding multiculturalism. Therefore, I believe that there is a need for a unified approach to this issue. There can be no contradictory thoughts here. I think that the experience of Azerbaijan in this field is commendable and can serve as a good example. We are seeing the fruition of multiculturalism in everyday life,” noted President Aliyev.
The head of state pointed out that the stability, civil and national accord existing in Azerbaijan today are based, among other things, on these values.
“In 2016, we tried to draw attention to this important issue, especially, let me reiterate this, if we consider that there are different thoughts in connection with multiculturalism. I believe that this issue will be widely discussed at the Forum,” said the president.
“We declared 2017 a Year of Islamic Solidarity. And again – because Islamic solidarity is fully established in Azerbaijan. I should also note that the Muslims of Azerbaijan are performing the Namaz of unity. I believe that Azerbaijan plays a very important role in this area in the Muslim world. At the same time, we tried to draw the attention of the Muslim world to this area, because, unfortunately, we were unable to achieve what we wanted on the issue of solidarity in the Muslim world. The confrontations, wars, misunderstandings, clashes and other dangerous trends are turning into a major problem and tragedies for countries. Millions of people die, are left homeless, turn into refugees and migrants. Of course, we should try to make our proposals, set an example in this area because if the concepts of “Islamic solidarity” and “multiculturalism” constitute a unity and the state policy is carried out correctly and is accepted by the people, then there will be no problems left in the countries. Modern Azerbaijan is a clear and vivid example. It is no coincidence that we are hosting numerous activities related to humanitarian cooperation and multiculturalism,” added President Aliyev.