Azerbaijan tolerance against armenian vandalism

Nowadays Azerbaijan is a country where there are mosques, churches and temples altogether and various religions ranks are settled without meeting any discriminations. When the president of the Europe Council and the Europeans were shown a mosque, a church and a temple in 150 meters’ distance from one other in Guba, they were astonished. According to the quality of tolerance, Azerbaijan people have got only differed in the East but also all over the world and this difference is going on even today. The unique experience of Azerbaijan in the field of interreligious dialogue and co-operation has always been highly appreciated and recognized by foreign politicians, diplomats and the officials of the international organizations.The historical visit of the former leader of home-catholic cathedral II Ioann Powel to Azerbaijan in May of 2002 is the best example for it. He especially emphasized the tradition of tolerance in Azerbaijan, when he was in Baku. It is a historical fact that the Christians followed by Rome government settled only in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan government have paid special attention to the restoration of the historical- religious monuments and the building of new worship houses and has given state support to these tasks. In our country the main difference about if is that, the restoration of the historical-religious monuments means not only the ones belonging to Islam, but also the other religious. The construction of the catholic church, the restoration of Russian-Pravaslav Cathedral, as well as “Saint Maryam” catholic church and also Kish temple, the cultural-historical heritage of the Caucasus Albania, the presenting of the biggest temple of the region in Baku to the religious people has become a sensation not only in Azerbaijan but also in other countries.

Such a sensitive and serious approach of Azerbaijan people to tolerance is caused not only by the respect to the past, but also the desire to build a healthy future. Because it is impossible to make up interreligious and intercultural dialogues, the protecting of the public-political stability, the providing of rapid development in the society where there is no tolerance principles. It should be mentioned that Armenia’s continuing aggressive policy, occupying 20 percent of Azerbaijan territory, as a result over one million Azerbaijanis living as refugees, the destroying of our historical-religious monuments under occupation cause serious problems in creating peace and stability in the whole region, strengthening of tolerance traditions and forming interreligious co-operation.

In March of 1918 Armenians as well as killing 12 thousand Azerbaijanis destroyed hundreds of cities and villages of Azerbaijan, burnt mosques, school buildings and cultural monuments. They destroyed Djuma Mosque, Tezepir mosque, Ismailliye building with submachine guns. The process of destroying the cultural monument by Armenians is still going on. In the occupied territories of Azerbaijan cultural and architectural monuments meet vandalism actions by Armenians. The architectural monuments have been changed badly or insulted. And all of these are against to 1972 year convention of UNESCO “About the protection of the worldwide cultural and natural heritage” and 1854 year Hague conversation “About the protection of cultural values when there is armed conflict”. Despite this, the tolerance traditions formed historically in Azerbaijan are going on state historically in Azerbaijan are going on state level and are flourishing as time passes. Thus, the religious monuments of the nation committing invasion are protected in Azerbaijan today. The Armenian church “Gregory Lusavorich” in Baku has been taken to state protection. Nowadays books and manuscripts in the Armenian language are maintained here. The restoration was last done in the Armenian church in 2011. The visit of foreign visitors are organized here. Even on 26 April of 2010 to participate in Worldwide summit of Religious Leaders Moscow and whole Russian patriarch Kirill and Katalikas II Garegin of all Armenians were present here. While Armenians are committing vandalism policy against our monuments, Armenian church in Azerbaijan is maintained in civil form.

Fuad Huseynzadeh