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Armenian Christian minority has nothing to worry about

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12 Punto 14 Punto 16 Punto 18 Punto presents the article "Azerbaijan's Armenian Christian minority has nothing to worry about" by Andrew Korybko.

Some international media forces are fearmongering that Azerbaijan's Armenian Christian minority is at risk of oppression after Baku liberated the approximately one-fifth of its territory that was illegally occupied by Yerevan for nearly three decades. These voices claim that the Armenian Christians there will be mistreated as second-class citizens and that their religious sites face destruction at the hands of the state. Acting Azerbaijani Culture Minister Anar Karimov told France-24 earlier this week that nothing of the sort will transpire and that the country will proudly remain a multicultural nation.

While his comments might have been met with scepticism from prejudiced critics, there's no objective reason to doubt the sincerity of his words. Azerbaijan never carried out cultural or ethnic cleansing against the Armenians. To the contrary, it was the invading Armenian forces that committed these crimes against the Azerbaijani people of the occupied territories. Unlike Azerbaijan at the present moment, the eyes of the world were never focused on Armenia and the international community didn't put pressure on it to respect the locals' human rights. Their failure to do so will go down in history as one of the world's most shameful moments.

For what appear to be entirely political reasons and not the result of any belated realization of their wrongs, the world is now laser-focused on Azerbaijan and some countries are warning it against violating the human and religious rights of its Armenian Christian minority. This pressure is unwarranted for the earlier mentioned reason that it was always the invading Armenian forces which committed brutal crimes against the locals on the basis of their ethnicity and religion. Azerbaijan has always condemned what took place over the past nearly 30 years and understands that it finally has the chance to show the world how different it is from the invaders.

If anything, the global attention that's being placed on the country at the moment will only serve to advance Azerbaijan's soft power. Baku is committed to showing the world just how much it respects multiculturalism. There's no chance that it'll suddenly go against everything that it stood for this whole time, and especially with the whole world watching, by going on a crime spree against its Armenian Christian minority and their religious sites. Although a lot of the attention on Azerbaijan is for the wrong reasons, the dynamic might soon be reversed and the world will soon praise it for protecting the Armenians' human and religious rights.

After all, if it wasn't for all the attention put upon the country, to begin with since the conflict started and in particular after it ended early last month, then the world wouldn't have as much of an opportunity to see just how well Azerbaijan will treat its Armenian Christian minority. Up until this point, most of the international community ignored the fact that the country has a thriving Christian minority of Russians and even some Armenians too, unlike Armenia which has practically no Muslims or ethnic Azeris.

Looking into the future, once the world realizes just how much Azerbaijan respects multiculturalism, it'll begin to make Armenia look all the worse by comparison. The opportunity will then present itself for Azerbaijan to remind everyone of what it's been saying all along, namely that the real ethnic and cultural cleansing in the Caucasus was carried out by the Armenian state, both within its own borders as well as Azerbaijan's. Keeping these plans in mind, it doesn't make sense why Azerbaijan would sabotage its own soft power strategy.

Those who don't take acting Culture Minister Karimov's words seriously are therefore more than likely being dishonest instead of just being confused or stubborn. They likely know that Azerbaijan is poised to further improve its international standing by showing the world just how well it plans to treat its Armenian Christian minority. This bothers them since these same sour folks also know just how poorly that'll make Armenia look by comparison, hence why they're trying to spoil everything in advance through fake news-driven fearmongering.

2020.12.02 / 12:27
Andrew Korybko
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