Different faiths add to heritage and traditions of Azerbaijan - Jewish News
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 3
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
Over the last 10 years, with innovation and a steely determination, Azerbaijan has become
a major oil and gas supplier to a range of countries and is fast developing into a country which is investing into innovative IT infrastructure, Fiyaz Mughal, Faith Matters interreligious and anti-extremist organization founder and director, Tell MAMA organization founder wrote in his article on the British website Jewish News.co.uk.
Its infrastructure is one of the best in the region and its people are some of the most tolerant in the world and this did not come about by accident. In a region where tensions escalate, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, has provided a clear steer and direction to ensure that
all communities have a space in Azerbaijani society, the author wrote.
"Azerbaijan has always been a gateway for new ideas," the article says.
The country has a historic Jewish community that has been in the country since the first century AD and which has developed and grown within a predominantly Muslim nation.
"Azerbaijan also holds Shia and Sunni Muslim communities and a Christian Orthodox tradition and a range of other religious traditions, all of which co-exist together and who feel part
of the country," the author wrote.
This model has not come about by chance. It is something that Azerbaijan and its people have nurtured since they see diversity and different faiths as adding to the heritage and tradition
of Azerbaijan, the article says.
"Links between Azerbaijan and Israel also go back a decade and more," the author wrote.
In 1998, for example, a visit to Azerbaijan by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, led to closer ties and co-operation between Azerbaijan and Israel culminating in a statement by the Prime Minister on the fact that Azerbaijan has had a history where anti-Semitism has not taken root in any shape or form, the article says.
Azerbaijani people are proud of this fact that anti-Semitism does not exist within this Muslim majority country and the country and its leadership believe that they set the example in creating an environment where anti-Semitism simply does not exist. The population believes that its Jewish communities are Azerbaijan's Jewish communities and have co-existed and lived peacefully in the country for over 2,000 years, the article says.
"Any attack on Jewish communities is regarded as an attack on all Azerbaijani people and the environment for hate, intolerance and bigotry towards minorities, simply does not exist," the author wrote.
This is not to say that the country does not have its political difficulties, though this extends to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and is a territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the article says.
Yet, what is clear is that Azerbaijan does not see its influence exerted in its region through the use of force and takes the position of quiet diplomacy and the use of the military is simply not an option for a country that values and cherishes its independence and its way of life.
"Azerbaijan's co-operation with Israel also extends significantly in a range of areas and its leadership continues to develop stronger ties," the article says.
Azerbaijan and Israel have much in common, the author wrote.
Both states have a rich heritage. Both states have also been through conflict. As an example of what can be achieved through bilateral relations, Azerbaijan is leading the way in ensuring Muslim and Jewish relations.