Jewish Journal publishes article about Azerbaijan

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Baku, May 20 AZERTAC 

The Jewish Journal has published an article about harmony of religions in Azerbaijan.

Written by Milikh Yevdayev the article says: “Our capital of Baku boasts an incomparably beautiful Heydar Mosque, the largest Mosque in the entire South Caucasus region. Named after Heydar Aliyev - the founder of the modern Azerbaijan and its third President (1993-2003) - the Heydar Mosque is not only known for its incredible beauty. Since its inception, the Mosque has also become a symbol of peace, tolerance and unity. As part of what is called the Year of Multiculturalism, proclaimed in Azerbaijan by President Ilham Aliyev, on Friday, January 15, 2016, a joyful crowd of religious, government and community leaders joined together to witness and participate in a groundbreaking experience -- a “unity prayer” of Muslims. The imams of the Mosque take turns in leading the prayers.

Azerbaijan’s Muslim communities are led by Haji Allahshükür Pashazade, the Sheikh ul-Islam of Azerbaijan and the entire Caucasus region. Sheikh ul-Islam Pashazade is the world's only Muslim cleric giving Muslims fatwas according to their relevant madhab. The Sheikh ul-Islam is recognized and respected as a religious authority not only in Azerbaijan and neighboring Georgia, as well as in the Northern Caucasus republics, which are part of the Russian Federation such as Dagestan, Ingushetia, Chechnya, Karachay-Cherkessia, and others.

The Jewish communities here - the Mizrahi Mountainous Jews as well as the Ashkenazi Jews - all celebrate a perfect freedom of identity and practice, as Muslims enjoy this same harmony, just as the Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, LDS and Evangelical Christians do too. Many great Jewish and also Christian and Muslim leaders have spoken throughout the years of the immense opportunity for peace to be found and shared in the social landscape of Azerbaijan.”

“I imagine how they must feel when they see violence in the streets and hear about constant multi-cultural struggles. What I can tell them is that we are shaping a new model of collective religious harmony here in Azerbaijan, one that does not reflect the bitter disputes going on in the rest of the world, one that I hope will be seen as a positive change for the world we live in.

When we discuss and find hope in Azerbaijan’s “Template for Dialogue and Peace” between religions, we can definitely learn many profound lessons for a better future by embracing and understanding how in Azerbaijan peace also exists within the diversity of the Muslim faith.

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