Sabina Mammadli read more
The discrimination of a group of people on their differences is
when humanity hits its lowest point. The coexistence of various
ethnic groups in multicultural, diverse societies could prevent
hatred, which dominates in monoethnic Armenia.
As Baku hosts International Conference dedicated to
International Day to Combat Islamophobia, the attention of the
country is particularly drawn to the rising wave of religion-based
hatred in Europe. However, religious hatred is not novel to
Azerbaijanis as Armenia's anti-Azerbaijani policy was not lacking
in religious hatred on top of racial one.
During its nearly 30 years of bloody occupation, Armenia
destroyed not only hundreds of Azerbaijani cities and villages but
also Azerbaijani religious sites and cemeteries. Armenia destroyed
65 out of 67 mosques in Karabakh and East Zangazur, and the
remaining two were used as pig and cow cowsheds throughout the
The complete erasure and destruction of Azerbaijani Muslim sites
is a clear manifestation of deeply-rooted Islamophobia in Armenia.
Such aggressions did not end there either; Armenia has also
destroyed Azerbaijani cultural heritage, mosques, and historical
sites in present-day Armenia.
“Our fellow compatriots suffered from ethnic cleansing in
Western Azerbaijan have now united in the Western Azerbaijan
Community. They have set the goal of a peaceful return to their
historical lands. According to the Concept of Return developed by
the Western Azerbaijan Community, an international legally binding
agreement with an appropriate verification and guarantee mechanism
for the return of Azerbaijanis expelled from the territory of
present-day Armenia should be put in place. Just as we, the state
of Azerbaijan, will guarantee the individual rights and security of
the Armenian residents living in Karabakh, Armenia must guarantee
the rights and security of the Western Azerbaijanis based on the
principle of reciprocity,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said
at Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State of the Organization
of Turkic States in Ankara on March 16.
However, to this day Armenia refuses to admit the forcible
displacement of Azerbaijanis from the territory of current-day
Armenia in the continuation of its crimes. No words are needed when
the facts lay bare in front of us: there left no single
Azerbaijanis in modern-day Armenia where thousands of them lived
Today Islamophobia is on the rise in Europe, especially in
countries like Sweden and France. Such cases as the burning of the
Koran outside the Turkish embassy in Sweden and the verbal and
physical violence against the Muslim population of France are
particularly of great concern.
In a comment to Azernews , Israeli-based pundit,
journalist Rachel Abraham remarked that such actions are not new as
Europe has traditionally been prejudiced against others going back
hundreds of years.
“And it doesn't only include the hatred of Muslims but it also
includes hatred of Jews, hatred of gypsies, anyone else who is
different. I think that the hatred of the other is deeply rooted
within the European culture and that explains the actions such as
what happened in France or in Sweden,” Abraham stressed.
Although the pundit disagreed that Islamophobia in France could
be connected to pro-Armenian policy, she stated that behind this
lies deep-seated hatred against others and not just of Azerbaijanis
Talking about the ways to combat the rising Islamophobia in the
West, Abraham referenced education and exposure to
“I think the best way to combat this is through education. I
think European children should be exposed to people of different
ethnic groups from a very early age and be raised on a policy
similar to Azerbaijan's multiculturalism policy. I don't think
these people have hatred in their hearts but people tend to hate
what they do not know. So, I think ignorance is the root of this,”
the expert finalized.
Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews' staff journalist, follow her on