Jewish heritage of Azerbaijan highlighted in Canada (PHOTO)
A “Jewish heritage of Azerbaijan” event was held in the Toronto-suburban city of Vaughan, Ontario.
The event was co-organized by the Network of Azerbaijan Canadians and the United Grassroots Movement, a Jewish anti-hate activist organization, News.Az reports.
The event highlighted the bridge-building and interfaith coexistence of Jews and Muslims in Azerbaijan and explained how for centuries, the Shia-majority population of Azerbaijan has been protecting its ‘Mountain Jews’ by grassroots common bonds. The country’s Jewish community lived and still lives in an environment where their identity and history has been respected and honored.
Speaking at the event, Azerbaijani Rabbi Zamir Isayev of Baku’s Jewish School, Vaad, said that Jews live in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding in Azerbaijan.
Canadian MP Philip Lawrence, the chair of the Azerbaijan-Canada friendship group, spoke of his recent trip to the essentially all-Jewish settlement of Qirmizi Qesebe (Red Town) near Quba in Azerbaijan. He noted that this “Red Town” is home to a fully functioning Jewish urban society as well as a relatively new Museum of Mountain Jews, while just across the river, Quba is overwhelmingly Muslim. Lawrence reported being impressed with the interfaith hospitality and warmth between the neighboring communities.
Addressing the event, other prominent figures praised the work being done to build bridges between Muslims and Jews in Ontario.