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Multiculturalism is now an essential ideology

Multiculturalism is the harmony of different cultures, where culture includes racial, religious, or cultural groups and is shown in customary behaviours, cultural theories and values, patterns of thinking, and communicative styles.  This article is dedicated to the 94th birthday anniversary of National Leader Heydar Aliyev, the political founder of religious tolerance and multiculturalism policy in Azerbaijan.


Leader Heydar Aliyev (1)
Leader Heydar Aliyev

Text by Seymur Orujov, Chairman 

 New Azerbaijan Party`s (YAP) Youth Union


Modern states are coordinated around the language and cultural types of the ruling groups that have historically established them.

Theoretical basis of multiculturalism is liberalism, distinctly such values of liberalism as freedom, equality, and community.

Multicultural approaches and policies vary widely all over the world, ranging from the advocacy of equal appreciation to the separate cultures in a society, to a policy of promoting the preservation of cultural diversity, to policies in which people of different ethnic and religious groups are addressed by the authorities as represented by the group to which they belong.

Multiculturalism is one of the varieties of reaction to cultural diversity, existing in a society. Multiculturalism is now an essential part and it has become in some places the legitimate official political ideology, acknowledging the cultural heritage and permanence of ethnic groups.

Multiculturalism, on the other hand, by reposing political problems as issues of culture or faith, transforms political conflicts into forms that makes them neither useful nor resolvable.

Multiculturalism azerbaijan pixabayThere are a number of various models of multiculturalism – model of the USA, Sweden, Australia, and Canada. But the multiculturalism model which is presented to the world by Azerbaijan is approved and takes root as model for many progressive states of the world.

The Republic of Azerbaijan is a multinational and multi-religious country. The national policy of this country is defined on the principles of tolerance and coexistence of various nationalities, ethnic groups and religious minorities.

There are a number of various models of multiculturalism – model of the USA, Sweden, Australia, and Canada. But the multiculturalism model which is presented to the world by Azerbaijan is approved and takes root as model for many progressive states of the world.

Development of multiculturalism, tolerance and religious tolerance at the level of state policy in Azerbaijan is based on ancient history of statehood of the country and on development of these traditions.

We are very thankful to the national cultural diversity existing in Azerbaijan, the atmosphere of ethnic and religious tolerance, Azerbaijan is known as the multinational and multi-religious country, a space of global intercultural dialogue.

Leader Heydar Aliyev (2)Today, the state policy which is successfully pursued in the Republic of Azerbaijan aimed at preserving this cultural, linguistic and ethnic variance necessitates an environment of special care and enrichment of the historical experience in the sphere of multiculturalism.

At the end of the XX century, thanks to efforts of the national leader Heydar Aliyev, this political behaviour has acquired a form of ideology of statehood, and restored were the traditions of tolerance and multiculturalism.

He has formed a new stage in the tradition of multiculturalism. This stage was the political stage. In fact, the great leader became the founder of the multiculturalism policy. Furthermore, he played a key role in maintaining and strengthening this field in Azerbaijan.

The most important issues (in protecting multicultural traditions of the state) was adopted in legal documents, including the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The first step in this field was adoption and ratification “Decree on international minorities, the protection of minorities and ethnic groups, state aid in the development of language and culture” which was signed on September 16, 1992.

Minoria raza surreal pixabayMoreover, extending and developing of the basic principles of the policy of multiculturalism and tolerance were clearly stated and identified in several articles of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

According to the ideology of Azerbaijanism, and aiming at ensuring preservation of tolerance and cultural, religious, linguistic diversity, as well as for recognition of Azerbaijan in the world as the center of multiculturalism, research and encouragement of the existing multiculturalism models, on order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan of February 28, 2014, it was founded the service of the State Counsellor on Multiculturalism, Inter-ethnic and Religious Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan. And on the order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan of May 15, 2014, there was created the Baku International Multiculturalism Center.

At the same time, with the initiatives of our national leader Heydar Aliyev in 1992 was adopted the decree on “Freedom of religion” under the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

DIVERSIDAD pixabayThus, religious centres, departments, organizations and educational institutions were regulated. A number of significant changes were happened within the following years.

In 2001, after the establishment of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations the country entered a new phase in relations between the state and religion.

Since 1999 the Day of Tolerance (November 16) has been significantly celebrated in Azerbaijan under the auspices of the national leader Haydar Aliyev.

In connection with the Day of Tolerance the SCWRI organized a round table discussion on the theme of “Azerbaijan-an example of tolerance” together with the Caucasus Board of Muslims, Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church in Baku and the Caspian region and the Jewish religious community.

In addition, with the great efforts of our national leader Haydar Aliyev and with the official invitation of our government on 2002 May, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, John Paul II visited Azerbaijan. In his speech, John Paul II evaluated existence of tolerance and mutual understanding among the religions in  Azerbaijan.

artesania-colores-pixabayAnother example for high religious tolerance of Azerbaijanis is the statement of Rome Patriarch Bartholomew I while visiting our country in 2003. He stated: “I got satisfied from the level of religious tolerance. In Azerbaijan everyone can practice religion and carry out rites on his/her own will.

Today, President Ilham Aliyev successfully continues the political course of the national leader Heydar Aliyev in the field of protection and promotion of multicultural values, regularly meets with the representatives of national minorities and religious communities residing in the country, interests in their needs and concerns and sends the greetings on the occasion of national and religious holidays. Azerbaijan possesses strong national ideology which contains elements strengthened at the state level such as tolerance and multiculturalism which are state ideology of all ethnises.

(Photos & Pixabay)

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