The idea of this book
... Came after the presentation of Azeriсhild project which involved a systematized compilation of children books authored by Azeri writers,
along with examples of works created by children themselves.
The pieces of literature, assembled in Azeriсhild is a clear manifestation of the gap between the real anti-Armenian xenophobia installed in
the Azerbaijani society and the officially proclaimed tolerance towards other cultures and religions.
Naturally enough, we tend to label this hatred as armenophobia often without full awareness of the pivotal role it plays in shaping the ethnic identity of Azerbaijanis; such hatred channeled against all that pertains to Armenia stands as the nemesis of their psychological model and fuels the juxtaposition of us vs. them which is fraught with repercussions for Azeris themselves.
The large archive compiled by the authors of this book (a) serves as a thesaurus for an analysis of ongoing processes in the Azerbaijani society and (b) allows building a temporal perspective on three levels covering the history, current situation and expected ramifications of the armenophobic policy pursued in Azerbaijan at state level.
The book contains requisite factual evidence and theoretical premises that can be illustrative of psychological and social underpinnings of the processes that occur in the Azerbaijani society and have some bearing on us. The chance to scrutinize on line the phenomenon of armenophobia in the social milieu of Azerbaijan facilitates the work of specialists and becomes a continuous resource for analysis.
The authors are certainly far from the allegation that the Armenian society - if taken under a rigorous scrutiny - will not display similar traits.
However, it must be emphasized that the scale and level of such propaganda defy all reasonable comparison in the first place. The book provides overwhelming evidence attesting to a widespread armenophobia in Azerbaijan and beyond its borders - orchestrated and inspired by the state while represented by its existing political forces with the full approval and support from the intellectual elite and the society as a whole.
In this context, there is a blatant contradiction between the verbal statements declaring commitment to certain values and a very specific line of action that nullifies them. Secondly, the book aims exclusively to narrate facts without recourse to any hasty conclusions, partial assessments or biased analysis.
We have attempted to review most, if not all significant aspects of the public life of Azerbaijan that displays a premeditated and far-reaching cultivation and instillation of armenophobia at state policy level.
It infiltrates all aspects of the country's life on both horizontal and vertical planes engulfing all groups irrespective of sex, age and social status.
Fallacious practices are employed along with the distortion and arbitrary interpretation of the universal set of values. The core meaning of certain categories is replaced to impose a form that is essentially in contradiction with universal concepts. This comes to discredit such notions as patriotism and tolerance, law and morality, good and evil.
Yet, it must be noted that the anti-Armenian propaganda which targets the Azerbaijani society carries serious risks for Armenia as well. Sooner or later, the peace will be restored in the region. What will be the face of such peace, if the next generation treads heavy with hatred against another nation, and the murderous intent becomes part of its identity? Will the feelings of hatred towards Armenians dissipate? Will it take years before generations change and those harboring feelings of armenophobia disappear as forms of perceiving the surrounding world?
Yet, such policy of inciting hatred against Armenians will be no less prejudicial for the Azerbaijani society in short and long-term perspective. Raising entire generations in a spirit of hatred against Armenians based on false stereotypes, the rulers of Azerbaijan attack the minds of their children robbing them of any chance to follow a natural path of development and personal growth. Instead, the resulting product of such policy is a citizen who takes an aggressive stance against his arch enemy - the Armenian - fully prepared to take ruthless action against Armenians. The official heroization of axe killer Ramil Safarov by the leadership of Azerbaijan sets a precedent for generations to come which are raised under a heavy load of the anti-Armenian propaganda and pushed towards similar 'heroic deeds' by all means available.
It must be stressed that all examples included in the book are taken from Azerbaijani or other non-Armenian sources. The limitations of this publication warrant the inclusion of only the most typical and common manifestations of armenophobia in Azerbaijan. Besides, considering the frequent practice employed by the Azerbaijani media consisting in removal of materials from original sources, the authors have prepared screen shots for all examples used in the book.
The book is intended for a wide audience, interested in developments in the region of South Caucasus. We dedicate this book to the international community, the people of Azerbaijan and its leaders.
It is incumbent on us to warn that showing retaliatory xenophobia is inadmissible; therefore, this book is not intended for use as a teaching material in schools and is not recommended for emotionally sensitive readers.
And, of course, we wish to express our special thanks to all whose assistance and support contributed to the publication of this book.