By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijan provides all necessary conditions for representatives of different nationalities, religions and cultures for their peaceful coexistence. Here many nationalities and different ethnic groups with various religious beliefs live together in peace and mutual respect.
The country's model of multiculturalism and interfaith tolerance has been highlighted at the Los Angeles-based Nessah Synagogue, which is the largest synagogue of Persian Jews in the U.S.
At the invitation of the synagogue, Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev addressed the event that brought together over 800 members of the congregation, the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles said in a message.
He spoke in detail about Azerbaijan’s history of independence and socio-economic development, successful foreign policy, the traditions of multiculturalism and tolerance in the country.
Aghayev noted that the Azerbaijani people for centuries have been creating and developing the culture of high level tolerance. He said that the multiculturalism policy, implemented now with great success at the state level under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, is a great example to the whole world.
"The principle of interfaith tolerance and harmony has always been an important part of Azerbaijani culture. But as an independent nation Azerbaijan has elevated this principle making it a strong Government policy under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev. This policy and the environment of religious tolerance and inclusion enables all Muslims, Jews, Christians, Baha’is and others to have the full freedom of religion, practice their faith freely and live in harmony with representatives of other religions," he said.
Aghayev also spoke about the wider implications of this model of multiculturalism for the world.
"In light of the dangers we face today, we must push the world to embrace the concept of multi-faith and multicultural harmony, and with Azerbaijan’s example we are showing that this harmony is possible," he said.
He also stressed that a successful partnership has been established between Azerbaijan and Israel in various fields, and these ties are expanding every year. Aghayev’s presentation was highly appreciated by the audience.
In his speech, the Synagogue’s Chief Rabbi David Shofet expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to get to know Azerbaijan, which attaches great importance to the values of multiculturalism and tolerance.
He noted that against the background of inter-religious conflicts in the world and antisemitism and racism that are increasingly growing in different countries, the coexistence of all peoples, including the Jews, in free and peaceful conditions in Azerbaijan is commendable.
Shofet expressed his gratitude to the people of Azerbaijan and the state and called the country the friend of all the Jews, since there is no and never has been antisemitism in Azerbaijan.
Los Angeles is home to the largest Persian Jewish community outside of Iran and Israel. Around 60,000 Persian Jews live in Los Angeles.
The Azerbaijani and Jewish peoples have a long tradition of tolerance and interaction. Thousands of Jews live in Azerbaijan in peace and mutual respect with other peoples in the country.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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