Azerbaijan’s tolerance, model example for whole world

By: Mushvig Mehdiyev

Azerbaijan has always been famous across the globe for its peculiar model of tolerance, where all people can enjoy a free life regardless of their religion and culture.

Although Azerbaijan is predominantly a Muslim country, it ensures convenient circumstances for members of all religious beliefs, making it easier for them to be engaged in universal activities within the country’s territory.

The tolerance model in Azerbaijan has repeatedly got higher marks from influential international organizations, which have called on the world countries to follow the footstep of Azerbaijan in terms of its perfect religious tolerance.

British ambassador to Azerbaijan Irfan Siddiq hailed Azerbaijan`s tolerance model, saying it could be an example for the whole world, particularly for Eastern countries. He made the statements during a meeting with Chairman of State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations Mubariz Gurbanli.

Siddiq added that Azerbaijan is one of those unique countries where the signs of religious discrimination don’t exist.

Nearly 9,000 Jews, along with other ethnic minorities are living in Azerbaijan. They enjoy equal rights as “full part” of Azerbaijani society amid the long tradition of tolerance and interaction between the Azerbaijani and Jewish peoples.

“We enjoy equal rights with other Azerbaijanis. I was born and grew up in the Muslim republic of Tatarestan. That’s why I understand their love to their motherland. I’m sure that Jews and Muslims can live together in a friendship and good neighborliness,” said Leonid Litinetskiy, Member of the Israeli Knesset, at a photo exhibition named “Azerbaijan – Land of Tolerance”, arranged by the Israel-Azerbaijan Association, in Israeli city of Or Akiva on November 25.

Litinetskiy added that Azerbaijan gifted its best sons to Israel. “Many natives from Azerbaijan hold high political, social, public and professional posts in Israel today. They make great contributions to Israel’s economy, science, culture and journalism.”

Tolerance has always been under the focus of the government in Azerbaijan. Regular meetings and conferences of international significance are held in Baku to promote the country as a land of unique tolerance. Mosques, cathedrals and synagogues in Azerbaijan function freely in a mutual respect to each other, having all essential moral and financial aid from the government. The synagogue, opened in Baku in 2003 is one of the largest religious centers in Europe.

Azerbaijani government views the ethnic and religious diversity in the country as its national wealth. The religious conscience in the country is strictly regulated and protected under the legislation.

Azerbaijan was selected as one of the world’s top five tolerant countries on the International Day of Tolerance, on November 16 last year. The tolerance model in Azerbaijan is considered a model for the Muslim world.

Located between Asia and Europe, Azerbaijan is a unique place to keep the Eastern and Western values alive, to host members of the world’s various religions and to embrace harmonically the values and traditions of different cultures. Azerbaijan hosted a number of international events aimed at promoting dialogue among civilizations and enhancing understanding among different religions, faiths and cultures.