Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee
Racism and Xenophobia
Republic of Azerbaijan
Eden A. Hodgson
Forest Hills Eastern
Racism and xenophobia are alarmingly common and equally as difficult to counteract. Racism is defined by Merriam Webster as a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race, and xenophobia is defined as fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign. Both concepts (which go hand in hand) are particularly abstract, making this issue difficult to identify and address unless unsavory actions end up being taken. This can include anyone whom the aggressor feels is subordinate, and may (even subconsciously) treat them as such. Targeted groups are often racial minorities.
Although it is prohibited by the Consitution and legislation, Azerbaijan is not free from racism, its most horrific account occurring in Sumgait, just 26 kilometers from the capital, in 1988. Sumgait was home to some eighteen thousand Armenians at the time and on February 26th and 27th, demonstrations were organized along with the slogan, “Death to Armenians!” This massacre has since been referred to as Sumgait, and clearly illustrates Azerbaijani authorities’ unswerving policy of racism towards Armenians of the past and ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population, with unpunished killings and deportations. More recently, Azerbaijani lawyers have signed a petition along with Turkish lawyers rejecting Resolution No. 296, titled: “No to imaginary ‘genocides’ and violation of international law,” because we as a country are about moving forward and not stretching the truth.
Azerbaijan would be pleased if other countries would follow suit and work to repeal laws enacted that enforce this kind of falsehood. There is a collection of 68 resolutions, laws, and declarations that recognize the “Armenian genocide” (Armenian). It is incredibly common for authorities to depict lesser countries of claims such as these. Rules stemming from such inaccuracies will be fought to be brought down. Azerbaijan suggests the UN address the 68 perjurious laws and makes efforts to erase them.
- Eden A Hodgson