Армянофобия в Азербайджане. Борьба с ксенофобией.

Армянофобия в Азербайджане. Армения Азербайджан, Ксенофобия
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Chapter 7. Armenian origin of non-conformists

The authorities of Azerbaijan are hypersensitive to criticism or to any negative manifestation or assessment from both the international community and the domestic audience. The entire state machinery is geared up to create an image of successful, tolerant, decent, transparent and creative system.

According to the reports of international monitoring organizations or relatively independent local researchers and the media, the portrayal offered by the Azerbaijani authorities is quite far from the reality.

While the authorities of Azerbaijan accuse the international organizations of their "biased judgment" and application of "double standards", the local, mostly opposition-oriented news outlets expose on a regular basis "disgraceful" facts that are at odds with the country's image advertised by the authorities. The authors of such publications draw fire from state-controlled media, members of the parliament, researchers and non-governmental organizations which wage a war against dissidents using their familiar arsenal of techniques; they search and detect traces of Armenian involvement (lobby) or dig up Armenian roots in those who circulate these "disgraceful" facts or commit deeds blackwashing the country's bright image.

It is no secret that Azerbaijanis at grass roots level live a hard life "in the richest country of the region". The ubiquitous corruption, violations of human rights and freedom of speech, tyranny and persecution, the unresolved issue of "reclaiming Karabakh", incessant and never materializing promises of war lead to some legitimate questions. Who is to blame?

The answer is always ready at hand; it is all about external enemies who are jealous of Azerbaijan's prosperity and seek to discredit it. This "campaign against Azerbaijan" is invariably ascribed to ethnic Armenians who are the instigators, masterminds and guiding hands behind it. This holds true for inside and outside Azerbaijan.

Overall, the efforts of the authorities to play down their own guilt and to duck any responsibility can be conventionally divided into several categories:

- omnipotent Armenian lobby;
- the domestic population of overt or covert Armenians (the same "30,000 Armenians" who still live in Azerbaijan);
- Armenian lineage, spouses or business partners, etc.

According to the reports of the Azerbaijani press, persons attributable under the above categories can be classified by a number of characteristics.

In Azerbaijan:

- persons who plague the ruling regime through their criticism, exposures or excessive zeal in their fight for human rights and freedom of speech.

The newspaper Yeni Azerbaijan accused the independent Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova of Armenian origin solely on the ground that she refused to speak about her kins. "Ismayilova never speaks about her kins and made no reaction to the allegations of the Xalq Cebhesi[183] newspaper claiming that her grandmother is Armenian.194 Sources close to the newspaper have extensive data on this subject, and Khadija fears exposure. This is only a part of the shocking details about her, which we do not make public for ethical reasons. It is of note that certain persons who consider themselves Azerbaijanis still call Khadija "the epitome of journalism", "the champion of moral values" and "the mouthpiece of justice and rights" speaking in her defense," states the newspaper.[184]

As early as in 2009, the Baybak.com website reported that Khadija Ismayilova had refuted the allegations of Xalq Cebhesi newspaper about her Armenian grandmother, however, only the information agencies Turan and Yeni Musavat agreed to publish her rebuttal.

Seymur Bayjan, Azerbaijani writer: Starting from 2003, I began realizing that our mindset fouls up our lives. What people call the mentality is a downright torment. I started writing about it, but many did not understand me and still don't. They call me Armenian, Jewish, Freemason, gay and spy.[185]

Ali Hasanov, a department head at the Presidential Administration:
Don't you think that those, who receive grants from the Armenian lobby and from the pro-Armenian circles and sling mud at our state from international platforms by depicting Armenians as oppressed and Azerbaijanis as savage brutes and telling foreigners who come to our country all kinds of falsehoods, justly deserve the scorn of the people?[186]

– persons implicated in corruption scandals or failing to comply with their professional duties thereby inflicting damage to the area of their responsibility.

Fazail Agamali, Member of Parliament: "The mother of Ilgar Rahimov, the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Population, was a representative of a different nation, and even her funeral was organized in Christian rather than Muslim traditions and was accompanied by the playing of clarinet. I support Tagi Ahmedov. Strategical posts must be held by pure-blooded Azerbaijanis", said the parliamentarian.[187]

Hafiz Hajiyev, leader of the political party Modern Musavat: Did you know that there are some people in power who have Armenian wives and mothers? It's them who constitute the main threat to our country. Not so long ago, I saw one of such officials in a restaurant accompanied by a female singer. Their conduct was so outrageous that I was ashamed that Azerbaijan had such public officials.[188]

The former member of the parliament from the ruling party, Gular Ahmadova, who was caught dealing in parliamentary seats as the main protagonist of a scandal dubbed in the Azerbaijani press as Gulargate, is accused, among other things, of having an Armenian grandmother. Specifically, the Azerbaijani information agency Olaylar reported: "Another fact was revealed on the former Member of the Parliament Gular Ahmadova. Sources well-informed of Ahmadova's pedigree report that her grandmother was Armenian. Although the ex-parliamentarian had changed all data in her grandmother's paperwork, the fact was well known to her inner circle. The same source affirms that the incredulous may want to find the address of Ahmadova's grandmother in the media dating back to 2002, which describes their relationships..."[189]

Interestingly, before Ahmadova fell from favor, she appeared in the list of "those with pure blood" and no one had the slightest idea of her Armenian roots, and what is more, she was a staunch advocate of the anti-Armenian campaign.

Baby vipers grow:[190]
I recall from the remote days of my childhood, as we played in the courtyard with Armenian children, my mother constantly warned me: baby vipers grow. And with age, I realized that indeed, baby vipers grow..

– Persons who must be compromised to meet the needs of the day or out of personal motives.

"It is most likely that at this advanced age, he betrayed Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani people to serve a nation to which he belongs at genetic level", said the deputy chairman of the Yeni Azerbaijan political party hinting at the Armenian origin of the writer Akram Aylisli.[191]

"His niece in Kazakhstan married an Armenian. According to well-informed sources within power circles, a group of high-ranking Azerbaijani public officials attended the wedding, including Eyyubov himself. Azerbaijanis drank toasts to the relatives of the newlyweds and gave speeches on the "brotherhood between the peoples of Azerbaijan and Armenia". <…> Note must be taken of the fact that Eyyubov is not a plain citizen; he holds a key position in the government of the country. In a time when the discussion over Ramil Safarov's case still goes on, such close ties of a high-ranking official with Armenians give rise to serious moral and ethical problems for the authorities in the public mind. If we factor in the statement of the president at the meeting with Azerbaijani ambassadors to the effect that the Armenian lobby is Azerbaijan's number one enemy, it can be safely affirmed that the situation looks highly unfavorable for Eyyubov", says the website.[192]

– Citizens, predominantly comprised of the young people or rural residents who are fed up with the lawlessness and demand enjoyment of their rights

The young activists who initiated protest actions in Baku in March 2011 had their Armenian origin "unearthed". Groups tagged March 11 were opened in social networks containing appeals for public rallies and boycott of the authorities.[193]

Abel Maharramov, Rector of the Baku State University: : "Many of those who exhort people to a protest action over Facebook social network are of Armenian origin". <…> The Rector added that an investigation was in progress to find out if there were any students of the Baku State University among them. We have checked; many of them have Armenian origin, and they intend to sow unrest in the country. This gives rise to a question: is it not enough that you have occupied our lands, so you are now sparking unrest to top it off? Why are they doing this? This happens because today Armenia is in a very tough situation. The teaching staff and the students of the university spurned these calls and have no intention to take part in any action whatsoever. There are isolated cases of students, mostly with poor academic record who have failed their exams. They think of other, negative things. You can find such people everywhere, especially in Armenia. We have conferred with these students, and they have realized that they ought not to walk this path", said the rector. [194]

Representative of the ruling party: I want to clearly state that the young people of Azerbaijan do not support these ideas. There are many Armenians among those who come up with such appeals. Undoubtedly, these appeals by Armenians who have grabbed Azerbaijani lands are aimed against our country, because Armenians never support ideas that benefit Azerbaijan. I suggest that these young people make appeals for the liberation of Azerbaijani lands. I address all young people: you cannot stand together with those who circulate appeals supported by Armenians.[195]

- Criminal and marginalized elements whose presence seems to be viewed as a disgrace to the country

The Azerbaijani singer Mehrim accused a certain Samir Aliyev, who had hijacked her Mitsubishi brand vehicle, of having Armenian origin. "I met this person at the presentation of the music video by Javanshir Babelioglu. He told me that he could help me release a solo album. Then, it turned out that he was just a fraud who had earlier worked as a guard at a bank office. Recently, I've found out that this person is of Armenian origin. People like him who do nothing but harm to the society must be caged and held behind the bars", said the singer.[196]

Outside Azerbaijan

- Persons held responsible by the Azerbaijani side for action or inaction to the detriment of Azerbaijan

In the run-up to the arrival of Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former 6th UN Secretary General from 1992 to 1996, in Baku, the Azerbaijani news agency Vesti.az scanned the former secretary general, who advocated the acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide, for traces of any Armenian lineage. Ahmed Shirinov, head of the Center for Strategic Planning of Azerbaijan, stated in an interview with the agency that back in 1993, when Boutros-Ghali was UN Secretary General, four resolutions on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan were passed by the UN Security Council. "He did nothing for the enforcement of these resolutions. And do you know why? Because he is Armenian", assured Shirinov with confidence.[197]

Ali Hasanov, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Committee for Affairs of Refugees and IDPs stated that Armenians could capture Shushi and Lachin with the help of Russia's former Defense Minister Pavel Grachev. "It is no secret that P. Grachev's mother was Armenian", stated the Deputy Prime Minister with confidence.[198]

"Not only was Mr. Solovyov completely unaware of the subject of the discussion, but he lacked basic journalistic ethics and misplaced his personal attitude to a nation stemming from his partial views and marital status (it is known that Solovyov's wife is Armenian[199])".

Mubariz Ahmadoglu, Head of the Center for Political Innovations and Technologies: During his recent airtime, Vladimir Solovyov could finally contrive a pretext to show his true attitude towards our country. He is a virulent hater of Azerbaijan and even perceives its people as animals. In fact, he serves Armenians by playing dirty tricks on our country. It is worthy of note that Solovyov's wife is Armenian, and he has previously worked on a TV channel funded by Armenians. Therefore, in all of his programs, he seeks all possible ways to do Azerbaijan a bad turn.[200]

– officials of international organizations who have "wronged" Azerbaijan in discharging their professional duties, released scathing reports about Azerbaijan's political establishment or gave a critical commentary in respect of the country's authorities.

Bakhtiyar Sadigov, editor-in-chief of the official newspaper Azerbaijan, in his commentary on the critical Freedom House report tagging Azerbaijan as not free stated that the organization's criticism of Azerbaijan should be disregarded as "this organization is funded by Armenians and operates under their supervision".[201]

Ogtay Asadov, the Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament, in his speech at parliamentary session in May 2012, aired his dissatisfaction with the position of the European Parliament which had adopted a critical resolution on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. According to him, the leadership of Azerbaijan put in every effort to create a climate of festivity, in response to which "the hirelings of the Armenian lobby" fabricated biased and fictitious publications in the western media. "Some forces within the orbit of the Armenian lobby are envious of the welfare and prosperity of our state", said the parliamentarians during the discussion.[202]

In 2012, the website Qafqazinfo.az accused the international press publishing critical articles on Azerbaijan during the Eurovision 2012 song contest. "Hundreds of Armenian journalists from across the globe were accredited to cover the Eurovision song contest in Baku on behalf of various news outlets for a biased coverage of the situation in Azerbaijan", writes the website and quotes the example of Margarita Antidze, Reuters Agency correspondent in Southern Caucasus who was diagnosed by the Azerbaijani media as having Armenian origin.[203]
Ali Aliyev, Chairman of the Citizens and Development Party (CDP), stated in his turn that a group of spies cloaked as journalists had come to Azerbaijan during the Eurovision song contest.

In order to reinforce its reasoning, justify its position and show the righteousness of its cause, the Azerbaijani propaganda quotes examples of the destructive role of Armenians or people with Armenian background from the experience of other countries (Abkhazia,[204], Turkey[205],[206], Georgia[207] and Uzbekistan.[208]). Not infrequently, the information is either false or hypothetical ("must be of Armenian origin", "most likely is of Armenian descent", "quite probably of Armenian lineage").

The examples referenced above clearly showcase the entire extent and scope of the armenophobia instilled in the minds of the people.


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