Starting from education year 2017, students in Azerbaijan will be studying a new subject – “Heydar Aliyev’s Heritage,” according to the Baku City Education Department.
High school students in Azerbaijan will be studying heritage of Heydar Aliyev – the former KGB general of Azerbaijani SSR, first secretary of Azerbaijan’s Communist Party Central Committee, third president of Azerbaijan (elected in Oct 1993). According to the source, the new subject will tell children about the state policy of the national leader, his ideology and role in the establishment of the state.
As EADaily correspondent has learned, the new school subject is the university subject “Azerbaijani multiculturalism” adapted for secondary school. Since 2016, this subject has been taught at a range of foreign higher educational establishments. Under the Bologna system, “Azerbaijani multiculturalism” has been divided into two levels: “Introduction into multiculturalism,” Bachelor’s Program and Master’s Program – a full course of theoretical multiculturalism.
The educational subject is developed by the Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan in close cooperation with the Heydar Aliyev Fund managed by Mehriban Aliyeva, the first lady of Azerbaijan, the daughter-in-law of Heydar Aliyev and Azerbaijan’s Milli Mejlis (parliament) member. The Russian office of the Fund is managed by Leyla Aliyeva, the Azerbaijani president’s daughter, Heydar Aliyev’s grand-daughter.
The subject covers the culture, history, language, literature, economy, modern social and political order of Azerbaijan. The authors of the “Azerbaijani multiculturalism” say the goal of the subject is to propagate Azerbaijani studies in the world, particularly, the historic, political and cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani Republic as a country unique for the Muslim East, where Christian and Jewish minorities have peacefully co-existed with the Muslim majority for years. A special aspect of Azerbaijanism is propagation of the heritage of Caucasian Albania (2nd century BC – 5th century AC), since Azerbaijan considers itself the legal successor of it. Studying the history of Caucasian Albania as part of “Azerbaijani multiculturalism,” the youth of Azerbaijan and foreign citizens will learn to unmask “Armenian lie” and “Armenian falsifications” of the South Caucasus history, with a focus on Nagorno-Karabakh. The course of Albanian studies was developed in close cooperation with Academician Ramiz Mehtiyev, the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, who heads the President’s Administration and was once an outspoken supporter of Heydar Aliyev.
“Azerbaijani multiculturalism” is taught in Azerbaijani, Russian and some other foreign languages. It is taught outside Azerbaijan too: Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” (Bulgaria), Tbilisi State University after Ivane Javakhishvili (Georgia), Ural Federal University (Russian Federation), Lithuanian Pedagogical University in Vilnius, Belarus State University in Minsk, Lisbon University, The University of Augsburg (Germany), The University of Fribourg (Switzerland), and University of Sakarya (Turkey). An agreement was achieved with Indonesia higher educational establishments on teaching Azerbaijanism.
Development and testing of educational courses and manuals on history and theory of Azerbaijani multiculturalism are being implemented at special departments at the Baku Slavonic University and other higher educational establishments in Azerbaijan. Theoretical and practical lessons are held at universities and winter and summer field schools funded by the Baku International Multiculturalism Center (BIMC).
EADaily reports that this May, BIMC with the support of the authorities of Azerbaijan and Heydar Aliyev Fund launched a cycle of international research and practical events “Terror against Multiculturalism.” Along with terror threats to Azerbaijan and the entire world by Jihadist organizations (Daesh, Muslim Brotherhood, Jaish al-Fatah etc.), BUMC experts consider such a phenomenon of international terrorism as “Armenian terror.”
“Armenian terror is one of the greatest threats to Azerbaijani multiculturalism uniting religious and ethnic diversity. In fact, there is no Armenian provocation that could disturb Azerbaijan. We have always voiced all Armenian provocations. However, in some issues it is necessary to make a joint initiative shoulder by shoulder with various organizations and carry out a purposeful activity,” Academician, State Advisor on interethnic, multicultural and religious affairs Kamal Abdullayev said earlier this May.
Azerbaijan considers the Armenian-revengers, who in early 20th century organized the assassination of the Young Turk organizers and executors of the Genocide of Armenians in 1915-1924, as the founders of Armenian terrorism. In Azerbaijan they call the scientists and public workers who dispute the ideology of historically Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh as theoreticians of Armenian terrorism.
They assign “Armenian terrorism” to the activity of Avar, Talish and Lezgin national organizations that emerged in Azerbaijan in early 1990s as a logical response to the aggressive pan-Turkist sentiments gathering pace. Theoretically, a very wide range of activities can fit Baku’s official idea of “Armenian terrorism.” For instance, the assumptions acknowledged by Russian orientalists saying that Caucasian Albania was not “ancient Azerbaijan,” but an independent state formation where culture and alphabet were created with participation of Armenian enlighteners.
It is commonly known that Caucasian Albania adopted Christianity from ancient Armenia, when in the 4th century Albanian King Urnayr travelled to Armenia and was christened there. The first bishop of Caucasian Albania was Armenian Bishop Grigoris Albanian, the grandson of the Armenian Catholicos Gregory the Illuminator sainted by the Armenian Apostolic Church. Instead, Azerbaijani historians revise these acknowledged facts as “Armenian falsifications.” Instead, they have introduced a hypothesis that Christianity was brought to Caucasian Albania by Turkic people – “ancient Azerbaijanis.”
The authorities of Azerbaijan have adopted a decision to include Azerbaijani multiculturalism into the educational courses that will cover 305 schools managed by Baku City Education Department and 18 schools under jurisdiction of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Education. Heydar Aliyev’s Heritage will become accessible to more than 20,000 children from families of Azerbaijanis – forced migrants from Karabakh.
EADaily’s North-Caucasus Bureau