Azerbaijan contributing to strengthening of Islamic solidarity

By: Sara Rajabova

Azerbaijan is concerned about various negative processes undermining the stability of the world and Muslim countries.

Ali Hasanov, Head of the Public and Political Affairs Department at the Azerbaijani President`s Administration made the remark addressing the 10th Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers in Tehran, Iran on December 3.

Officials from the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) sat for talks as part of a meeting with the motto, “Media Convergence for Peace and Calm in the Islamic World.”

“We are concerned about various attempts to form a wrong portrait of Islam that in reality calls for reconciliation, peace and tranquility. The political events that are shaking the whole Arab world, as well as the Palestinian national struggle for independence, military operations in Syria, military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and other similar conflicts impede a sustainable development in the Islamic world,” Hasanov said.

He expressed regret that the Western Islamophobic circles and the transnational media show the Muslim world in a biased form.

“As a result, a biased and misleading impression has been created among the international community about Muslim countries which are rich in both the material and spiritual wealth, also about Islam that is a religion of peace and reconciliation. To equate Islam with terrorism, to present every Muslim as a potential terrorist, to attempt to identify Islamic values as harmful and alien elements, separating them from universal values – all of these rightly spark serious objections throughout the Islamic world,” Hasanov said.

He also noted that Armenia, which has occupied Azerbaijan’s lands over two decades, attempts to discredit the Islamic values.

“As you know, for more than 20 years, Armenia has occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan territories, including Nagorno-Karabakh. Beside all infrastructures, national, cultural and religious monuments, many mosques have been destroyed on the historical Azerbaijani lands,” Hasanov said.

Noting that UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, Non-Aligned Movement, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other influential international organizations have adopted relevant decisions and resolutions on liberation of those territories from the occupation, Hasanov said unfortunately, none of them have been observed yet.

“Armenia not only ignores the international laws and decisions of the influential organizations, it also tries to discredit the Islamic values giving religious color for aggressive policy to substantiate its unfair position. It takes advantage of certain anti-Islam circles and misleading media resources in the West to achieve its goals. We can say that other Muslim countries face similar problems. Those facts clearly confirm that there is a great need to expand mutual relations in the field of information among Muslim countries, along with strengthening of Islamic solidarity,” he added.

Hasanov further said it should be taken into account that in the modern time when there exist a common information space and transnational media, information has became an important factor in the development of interstate relations.

“Also the importance of mass media has increased as an effective tool providing the formation and expression of public opinion. Adopting a concrete information policy according to the existing conditions, identification of priorities in the global network and ensuring the information security of society are important issues for any state, including Islamic countries,” he said.

The important decisions were adopted in the 9th meeting of Information Ministers of the OIC member countries in Libreville, the capital of Gabon in 2012, in order to strengthen cooperation in the field of information, Hasanov added.

“We believe that the media objectivity and solidarity of Islamic countries is an urgent issue. To this end, it is important to coordinate the activities of our media, to establish joint media institutions and take the advantage of their purposeful activity. We have to develop mutual relations with leading world media structures; we have to organize frequent forums and conferences on the actual issues. There is a need to expand the objective information exchange between the Mass Media of OIC member states, to coordinate the joint activities in the virtual space and to implement measures in order to create common internet resources”, he said.

Ali Hasanov also stressed that Azerbaijan has always contributed to the strengthening of Islamic solidarity in the world and cooperation among Muslim countries and mutual relations. He added that Azerbaijan is determined to press ahead with the goals in this area.

“We believe that 4th Islamic Solidarity Games planned to be hold in Baku in 2017 will also serve to our common interests. Azerbaijan has already gained great experience in hosting important international events. We will do our best during the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games to attract the attention of the world as the embodiment of friendship and solidarity among Muslim countries, showing the rich potential of the Islamic world. We believe that, this will be a great opportunity for media representatives of all Muslim countries as well. With this in mind, we propose to hold the next 11th meeting of the Information Ministers of the OIC member states in Azerbaijan. Also, taking into account that there has been adopted a decision on establishment of the Union of Journalists at the 9th meeting of the Information Ministers of Islamic countries preliminary measures and the relevant structures have already been established in Azerbaijan. We have already put forward the initiative to hold the presentation of the Union of Journalists of the Islamic Countries in the framework of the next meeting” Hasanov said.

Speaking about the significance of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in the international relations system, Hasanov said the organization has already confirmed itself as a successful model of unification of Muslim countries.

“It has made important contributions to expanding of mutually beneficial relations, political, economic and cultural cooperation between the member states and strengthening of Islamic solidarity and protection of interests of our peoples. OIC is also an extremely important platform for discussing the complicated global and geopolitical processes, which concern our countries, mulling over existing problems, finding new solutions and forming common position against observed threats and pressure. It must be noted that we have gained quite a lot of experiences in this area,” he said.

SOURCE: AZER NEWS