The historical Rococo hall in the mayoralty of Augsburg (Bavaria) hosted a two day colloquium on “The Freedom of Religious Identity in Augsburg and Azerbaijani Multiculturalism”.
The event held by Baku Slavic Univeristy and the University of Augsburg at the initiative of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism.
The colloquium was the first step in the unique project of teaching the course “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism” at the University of Augsburg which will be the eighth University to include this course into its curriculum.
The State Counselor on Multiculturalism, Interethnic and Religious Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Academician Kamal Abdullayev made a presentation on Azerbaijan’s experience of multiculturalism. Giving information on the related achievements of the young, independent state of Azerbaijan with an ancient history and the great attention attached by President Ilham Aliyev to this issue, the speaker noted that some universities in Lithuania, Georgia, Russia, Bulgaria, Czechia, Italy and Belorussia have started teaching this course. Beginning from the new semester this course will be taught at the University of Augsburg and some other European universities.
The Professor of the University of Augsburg Klaus Wolf emphasized that the theme is new as well vital not only for the region but also European Union. Further the Rector of the University of Augsburg Professor Sabina Doring-Mantoifel spoke. She greeted the conference participants, especially the Azerbaijani scholars and expressed her pleasure from the cooperation among these two universities and Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism. The Rector noted that the new course included in the curriculum of the University will facilitate understanding the successful ways of removing the stereotypes in the contexts of multinational states by taking into account the conditions under which the stereotypes are generated and also the Azerbaijani experience.
Professor Klaus Wolf stated that the goal of the colloquium was to start the active phase of the cooperation between Baku Slavic University and the University of Augsburg as well as Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism. The professor said, “The colloquium is studying the issues of religious tolerance in Augsburg and multiculturalism in Azerbaijan in camparison. It is for the first time that such kind of interesting sociological parallels and analysis have been carried out. That is why, the colloquium evokes great interest.”
The staff member of the Azerbaijani Embassy to Germany Ramin Mirzayev, the State Minister on Cultural Issues of the Mayoralty of Augsburg Thomas Weitzel, the professors of the University of Augsburg Alfred Wildfeuer, Henning Rosenau, Gunther Kronenbitter, Wolfgang Weber, Jorg Ernesti, the Head of a Department from the Germanistics Institute of Baku Slavic University Sevinj Rzayeva, the Executive Director of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism Azad Mammadov and others also made presentations.
The second day of the colloquium was held in the building of the University of Augsburg. The presentations of the participants turned into interesting discussions. As a whole, the academic circles of this city of Germany met the colloquium with great interest. The ongoing project in Augsburg is expected to be as successful as in the other seven universities of Europe.
It is noteworthy that the event is held in Bavaria – the federal province with rich experience in peaceful co-existence of diverse cultures, religions and ethnicities. The German scholars noted that the experience of Azerbaijan helps them profoundly in understanding the implicit ideological processes ongoing in the poliethnic environment like Germany. The German partners admitted that from this perspective the cooperation with Azerbaijan is of great significance for them.