Characteristic of national minority concept and multiculturalism
Culture13 May 2016, 17:46 1963
The number of nations living on the Earth exceeds the number of available states. According to various sources, there are approximately 3500 nations and ethnic groups. They have settled in more than 200 countries. The information about 230 countries was given in the survey book of Russia’s "Republic” publishing house issued in 1999. More than half of humanity consist of 50 million for each of 18 people, and 10 million people for each of 70 nations, which includes 4/5 of the world's population. Almost 1 million of more than 260 people, covers 96% of the Earth population. The rest of the people (3.2% of the world population) made up of thousands of ethnic associations. For instance, 20 nations and ethnic groups have been registered in Nigeria, more than 150 nations (according to some scholars 350) in Indonesia, etc. (Orucov H. Heydər Əliyev və Azərbaycanda milli siyasət Bakı-2001, səh-40.)
Russian scholars L.S.Prepelkin and N.E. Rudenski touched upon some interesting issues in their "Peoples' rights and national issue in the USSR: the experience of social and political analysis” book. Giving socio-philosophical analysis of national minorities living in CIS countries the authors put forward their subjective assumptions about conflicts that may occur. (SSRİ-də milli azlıqlar: onların tipləri və əsas problemləri, Moskva 1990. səh-67.)
Currently, representatives of 176 nations have been living in Russia. Protection of ethnic minorities and their rights is very significant factor on development of democracy. As well as it is important for keeping political and social stability. ("İnsan haqları və azadlıqlarının təmin edilməsi və müdafiəsi haqqında" Federal Konsepsiya, Kreml, 1999.)
However we must not forget that after collapse of the Soviet Union the number of ethnic conflicts in Russia began to grow rapidly. The main reason for this, some ethnic groups demand for change of the administrative-territorial units in the settlements where they have already settled .
Similarly, we had faced deportation of Azerbaijanis, living in Armenia (as national ethnics), as well as Azerbaijanis who are local and ancient residents of Nagorno-Karabakh were expelled by ethnic Armenians. Regretfully, the conflict has not solved for 25 years yet and Armenia continues keeping mono-ethnicity in its territory and Nagorno-Karabakh region. Consequently, the region we are living faces some troubles in the field of interethnic dialogue. Although various ethnic groups have been living in Caucasus but Armenia composed of various ethnic groups in the region deliberately transforms itself mono-ethnic society and become a serious threat with its racist public policy. Armenia successfully accomplished the ethnic cleansing policy. Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh had emerged as a result of Stalin’s policy during initial periods of the Soviet Union in form of establishment of Autonomic Republics and conflict zones in order to keep those states under pressure. Azerbaijan has faced another big problem- more than 800 thousand Azeris fleed their homes, besides military casualties and increasing economic troubles.
According to the report released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan ( http://www.mct.gov.az/service/lang/az/page/15/ sid/14/nid/103/) number of Armenian minorities in Azerbaijan was 457,519 people (7.9% of the population) in 1979, 390,500 people (5,6%) in 1989 and 120 700 people (1,5%) in 1999.
It should be noted that previously, the number of Armenians, together with Russians were the largest minority in Azerbaijan. However, in 1999 number of Russian minorities decreased and become 1,8%. The reason of it was that Russians preferred to leave for their historical lands after collapse of the Soviet Union. Reduction in Jewish minorities also was noticed in Azerbaijan. The representatives of this minority have emigrated to Israel during the same time period. However the number of other minorities has remained the same.
As we know, multiculturalism describes several distinct cultural or ethnic groups within a society. Al Gressby an Australian politician, most prominently known for serving as Minister for Immigration in the Labor Whitlam Government brought multiculturalism term to political lexicon in 1970. He tried to solve the conflict between Anglo-Saxons and new Australians. The government established "The Australian Institute of Cultural Diversity Issues" (1979) and "Multiculturalism Issues Committee" (1987).
Multiculturalism describes acceptance of national, religious, racial and cultural diversity on the basis of mutual respect and understanding, the constitutional protection of the cultural rights of all the society members and the mentioned diversity is a natural and considered lifestyle serving for people’s general welfare and stable development.
President Ilham Aliyev gives precise definition of multiculturalism via the example of Azerbaijan and our nations’ lifestyle and a part of our national features. Assessment of multiculturalism as our national wealth by the head of state demonstrates the state’s thoughtful approach to this issue based on politics.
Interculturalism is an activity supporting cross-cultural dialogue and challenging self-segregation tendencies within cultures. The uniqueness of Azerbaijan in this issue is that Azerbaijan has intercultural opportunity through membership of international organizations of Islamic and Christian world with Western and Eastern traditions carrying positive trends. Varied activities and projects carried out in this direction in our country due to these reasons. One of the trends that distorted and generally unacceptable is claiming multiculturalism as inherent character of the highly developed countries. Experience shows that contrarily, the multiculturalism is not so successful in those countries as it presented. Leaders of some leading countries as Germany (A. Merkel), France (N.Sarkozy) Great Britain (D.Cameron) have repeatedly stated (September 2010) that the multiculturalism in their countries stagnated and this idea caused to weaken of national identity.
However in Azerbaijan approach to the multiculturalism is more different than those countries. According to the state councilor on multinational, multicultural and religious affairs Kamal Abdulla moral condition of those countries which are not able to protect their multicultural security is obvious: "fascism and neo-fascism raise in those countries, Anti-Semitism is rampant, nationalism turns to chauvinism. Against the backdrop of those, tolerance, justice, compassion, respect, love are leaving those countries invisibly or openly. Indeed, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev so rightly said: "There is not an alternative of multiculturalism.”
Since the mid-1960s, US was playing a "melting pot" role on mixing Anglo-Saxons with immigrants. The Anglo-Saxons had advantage in this issue. The melting pot program was replaced by the ideology of multiculturalism. The reason of this decision was the adoption of Civil Rights Law(1964) and Immigration Law(1965).
The first law weakened Anglo-Saxons’ positions and provided quality of all nations. The second law accelerated migration to the country.
Policy of the Swedish government giving great importance to the multiculturalism on this field is highly assessed. There are two significant directions of Swedish multicultural policy: language and educational strategies. Those strategies make immigrants to learn both languages their native and Swedish languages. The Swedish government has assessed the country's cultural diversity as an important and necessary factor. In 1976, the Swedish government recognized the right to vote for foreigners. Moreover "Immigration Law" adopted in 1997 describes Swedish cultural society.
Adoption of "Immigration Law’ in Australia played a major role for the elite on administrative judge. The situation changed after adoption of "Law on Citizens” (1948, with amendments) , "Migration Law” (1958, also with amendments), "Law on Foreigners” (1984, with amendments, ) " Law on Visa regime” ( 1997, with amendments).
Formation of multicultural society in Canada started in 1960. Canadian government adopted people’s racial, ethnic and religious diversity that become main national features of the society. Consequently, the multiculturalism has become one of the significant national features of Canadians. Multiculturalism is protected by the Article 27 of the Canadian Charter of Freedom and Rights.
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