On 16 January Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism held the presentation of the book “The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on the Azerbaijani Model of Multiculturalism”.

The book published in Azerbaijani, Russian and English encloses the valuable ideas on the Azerbaijani model of multiculturalism expressed by President Ilham Aliyev in his interviews and speeches since 2003. It also speaks of the projects implemented at the initiative and under the leadership of the Head of our state in our country’s development in multiculturalism as well as intercultural and interreligious dialogue, and the achievements in this field both nationally and internationally.

The author of the idea of the book is Academician Ramiz Mehdiyev, the head of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and its adviser is PhD in Historical Sciences Ali Hasanov, the Assistant of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in socio-political issues. The book has been compiled by the Senior Adviser of the Department of Intercultural Relations, Multiculturalism and Religious Issues of the Presidential Administration, PhD in Philosophy Etibar Najafov, the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism, Academician Kamal Abdulla, the Editor-in-chief of the news agency AZERTAC, PhD in Political Sciences Javid Badalov, and the Head of Department at Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism Sarkhanbey Khuduyev.

Opening the meeting Kamal Abdulla said that the development of multiculturalism in our country is one of the merits of the political founder of Azerbaijani multiculturalism, National Leader Heydar Aliyev before of our nation. Today this policy is being continued by President Ilham Aliyev with determination. The policy of multiculturalism pursued under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev accelerates the integration processes within the country. And on an international scale this policy has a strong impact on the development of intercultural and interreligious dialogue. The Head of our state has shaped the optimistic pole of the development of multiculturalism in the example of Azerbaijan through the triumph of the multicultural movement in Azerbaijan, while views on the failure of multiculturalism have been formed in a number of European countries.

Kamal Abdulla pointed out that the presented book is the bright indicator of the significance attached to the multicultural values by the Azerbaijani President. The book is the wonderful means for those who wish to study not only Azerbaijani multiculturalism, but also the history of the Azerbaijani people, its literature, culture and morality. Each of our state leader’s views collected in the publication expresses love of and affection to our country, our people and all the peaceful people in the world. The Azerbaijani President’s ideas and instructions on multiculturalism have been continuing also after “the Year of Multiculturalism” announced by him in 2016 was over. Every day we are witnessing it. The book will have a continuation, and the next volumes of the publication will reflect our state leader’s forthcoming ideas about the Azerbaijani model of multiculturalism and the actions to be carried out to establish the multicultural mood in the world. It is planned to translate the book into other languages as well.

Professor Etibar Najafov, the Head of the Department of Intercultural Relations, Multiculturalism and Religious Affairs of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, said that in the current period Azerbaijan is one of the main centres of multiculturalism. Today multiculturalism is the state policy in Azerbaijan. The formation of multiculturalism as the state policy in our country is associated with the name of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev. At present this policy is successfully being pursued by the Head of our state Ilham Aliyev.

It was noted that the book, which is of great cognitive and practical significance, presents multiculturalism as a mainstream of the policy pursued in Azerbaijan. The book reflects some theoretical issues of multiculturalism and the peculiarities of the model of Azerbaijani multiculturalism. This publication includes some significant ideas about the great experience of the Azerbaijani state in multiculturalism which is important for other countries, especially the Western countries that encounter serious problems in the implementation of the policy of multiculturalism.

The Chair of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations Mubariz Gurbanli spoke of the activities carried out to advocate the values of Azerbaijani multiculturalism. He said that Azerbaijan has its own values among which multiculturalism should be underlined. It is not a coincidence that multiculturalism is a lifestyle in Azerbaijan.

The Chair of the State Committee emphasized the importance of the publication of the Azerbaijani President’s ideas on multiculturalism as a collection in three languages, “Today Azerbaijani multiculturalism is highly appraised and cited as an example in the world. As the Head of our state points out, there is no alternative to multiculturalism. Today multiculturalism is the only approach capable of saving the world facing wars and conflicts.”

The editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Yeni Azerbaijan”, the member of the Milli Majlis Hikmat Bababoghlu stated that Azerbaijan enjoys very serious historical, geographical, ideological, political foundations of multiculturalism. That is why, President Ilham Aliyev has delivered multiculturalism to the level of state policy. The collection of our state leader’s ideas included in the book shapes a complete view about Azerbaijani multiculturalism as a whole.

Hikmat Babaoghlu said, “The most characteristic feature of the multicultural model in Azerbaijan is that nothing is imposed forcibly here, there is love of diversities. Although in some European societies there is multiculturalism, the legal system there compels the people to become multicultural and tolerate the diversities around. That is, there is some constraint there. While the characteristic feature of multiculturalism in Azerbaijan is that each of us lives loving it and accepts it as our lifestyle.

The Chair of the Azerbaijani Composers’ Union, the member of the Board of Trustees of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism Firangiz Alizadeh, the Director of the Azerbaijani National Library Karim Tahirov said that the maintenance of multicultural environment in our country is in the focus of constant attention. They stated that today when there are wars, conflicts, bloody clashes and other problems on the international arena, Azerbaijan is like an oasis in the world. Prosperity, stability, and high-level multicultural environment reign in Azerbaijan. The present state of multiculturalism in our country is the outcome of President Ilham Aliyev’s policy in this field, his equal attitude to all our citizens irrespective of their religion, language and national identity.

The Head of Catholic Community in Azerbaijan Vladimir Fekete, the Chair of Baku Mountain Jews’ Religious Community Milikh Yevdayev, the member of the Board of Trustees of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism Aleksandr Sharovski and others spoke of the advantages of the multicultural, tolerant environment in our country. They mentioned that Azerbaijan’s achievements in the policy of multiculturalism are recognized and highly appraised by the world countries and the visitors of our country. It was emphasized that the increasing interest in Azerbaijan’s experience in multiculturalism and tolerance in the entire world has earned it the image of the state exporting tolerance alongside with oil and gas, as admitted by some foreign politicians. The policy of tolerance pursued by the Azerbaijani state has laid foundations for the further consolidation of friendship and fraternity among the ethnic and religious communities living in our country. All this is the result of the policy founded by the National Leader Heydar Aliyev, and continued and developed by President Ilham Aliyev.

By the end of the event the Executive Director of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism Ravan Hasanov gave information about the activities of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism in the presentation of Azerbaijan as the centre of multiculturalism in the world and in the study and promotion of the existing multicultural models. He also said that both in the country and abroad there will be scientific discussions of the presented book “The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on the Azerbaijani Model of Multiculturalism”.

It should be mentioned that the citations included in the book were taken from the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev’s speeches, presentations and interviews distributed by AZERTAC.

The book is intended for politicians, scholars in country studies, scholars in cultural studies, historians and wide mass of readers.