Wednesday, April 20, 2016

2016 declared Year of Multiculturalism in Azerbaijan

President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on January 11, to declare 2016 the Year of Multiculturalism in Azerbaijan in an effort to maintain, further develop and popularize the traditions of multiculturalism in Azerbaijan. This decision was made taking into account the fact that Azerbaijan brings an important contribution to the traditions of tolerance and intercultural, as well as intercivilization dialogue.

Azerbaijan makes important contributions to the traditions of tolerance, intercultural and inter-civilization dialogue. The country's success in multiculturalism relies on the full-scale embrace of this openness and tolerance by both government and the society at large which has remained primarily stable for many decades.

Today Azerbaijan, a country which established the first secular democracy in the Muslim world in 1918 and offered women the right to vote in 1919, acts as a model for peaceful coexistence of members of different nations and religions for many other countries as well.Tolerance and multiculturalism in secular Azerbaijan is a style of life for over 9.6 million people living at the crossroad of the East and West, and combining traditions and cultures. Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the population (about 96 percent) of the country is Muslims, worshippers of other religions enjoy freedom here, and one can often witness Jewish synagogues and Orthodox and Christian churches and other religious centers functioning freely.

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