New Mexico State Senate: Azerbaijan offers an exemplary model of tolerance
On Feb. 23, 2015 the New Mexico State Senate unanimously passed a resolution commending “the long-standing traditions of tolerance and inclusion in Azerbaijan,” and praising “the efforts by Azerbaijan to foster interfaith harmony, which can be a model and functioning example in these troubled times.”
A copy of the resolution was presented to the Consul General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev, who was present at the floor session of the Senate. Following the adoption, Consul General Nasimi Aghayev was invited to address the Senators. In his remarks, the Consul General highlighted the importance of considering the Azerbaijani experience of interfaith harmony as a successful model of tolerance for the world at large. He also thanked all the Senators for passing this important resolution, and for their support and friendship.
The resolution covers the age-old traditions of tolerance that have made it possible for Muslims, Jews and Christians to live peacefully together for centuries, in mutual respect and admiration. In this regard, the resolution highlights the Christian and Jewish communities of Azerbaijan, who have never faced any persecutions or discrimination in the country.
Stressing the important contribution of Azerbaijan’s Government, the resolution notes: “The three major religions have prospered not only because of the age-old respect and tolerance of the Azerbaijani people, but also because of an important role the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan has played in constantly fostering the environment of tolerance, mutual acceptance and respect in the country”.
The document ends by stressing that the U.S. “has an interest in such a success story, since Azerbaijan — secular, tolerant, and inclusive — is crucial to a region ridden with hatred and strife,” and notes that “given the rising levels of radicalism, terrorism, hate, xenophobia and intolerance in the world, it is important for the U.S. to support its tolerant and secular friends and consider the Azerbaijani model of interfaith acceptance and community engagement as a functioning example, and encourage this policy around the globe”.
In accordance with the resolution, its copies will be sent to U.S. President, Secretary of State, President of the U.S. Senate, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and New Mexico's Congressional delegation.
It is noteworthy that this is the first state-level resolution in the U.S. dedicated to the traditions of tolerance in Azerbaijan.