An event on Azerbaijan’s multiculturalism, interfaith harmony and tolerance was held at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix on April 12, 2018. Adjacent to the new building of the Arizona State Legislature, the Arizona State Capitol serves as a symbol of the State’s rich political, social, cultural and economic history, and it once housed the Arizona State Legislature, Governor’s Office and Supreme Court.
The event, organized jointly by the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles and the U.S. Branch of the Baku International Multiculturalism Center (BIMC), was attended by high-ranking members of the Arizona State Senate and House of Representatives, Consuls General and Honorary Consuls of foreign countries, as well as various Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders.
The Executive Director of the U.S. Branch of the BIMC Dr. Janna Scott welcomed the guests and emphasized the importance of this event in such a historic building. She recalled her visits to Azerbaijan, which, she noted, gave her a great opportunity to get first-hand knowledge about Azerbaijan’s multiculturalism, diversity and multi-faith harmony and tolerance.
In his remarks, Consul General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev talked about the ancient traditions of multiculturalism and multi-faith tolerance in Azerbaijan, noting that these well-entrenched traditions have been flourishing in the country since ages. Aghayev also stressed that people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds have been living together in peace, dignity and mutual respect, and have openly been practicing their religions, customs and traditions for many centuries in Azerbaijan.
The Speaker of the Arizona State House of Representatives J.D. Mesnard noted in his speech that during his visit to Azerbaijan last year he was much impressed not only by the rapid transformation and development of the country, but also by the working model of interfaith tolerance, harmony and multiculturalism there. Mentioning his visit to the 280 year old Jewish Red Town in the Quba region, where Jews and Muslims continue to leave in absolute harmony, the Speaker expressed his deep satisfaction of this unique experience.
Speaking afterwards, the Arizona State Senate President Pro Tem John Kavanagh noted the successful U.S.-Azerbaijan strategic partnership and friendship, and stressed that Azerbaijan is an important ally of the United States in the region. Referring to the proclamation passed by the Arizona State Senate, Senator Kavanagh said that Arizona Senate reiterated a firm support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty.
Following the speeches, a short film on Azerbaijan's multiculturalism was screened. The event was received with much interest by the audience.