Politics 12:14 01/10/2019 Region

Opinion: Why it is so hard to be a pacifist in Azerbaijan

Jam News has published an article of Azerbaijani reporter Bashir Kitachaev revealing why it is so difficult to be a pacifist in Azerbaijan. The full text of the article is provided below.

“Traitors” and bloodthirsty love for the motherland

In Azerbaijan, there is a popular opinion that the war in Karabakh needs to be waged again. And the army is like a sacred Indian cow that cannot be criticized.

For almost thirty years the government media has led an aggressive military propaganda campaign. And not just the media: schools, institutes, and kindergartens all implant the same idea – love for the Motherland means being prepared to die in war.

People who think that war is not the answer usually keep quiet so as to not be confronted with society’s righteous anger. In the Caucasus, one can often get into trouble in general for expressing the “wrong” opinion.

Recently, one of the Azerbaijan Air Force MiG-29 fighters crashed in the Caspian Sea. According to the official investigation, it was caused by a collision with a bird. The pilot did not survive. Officials gave condolences to the pilot’s relatives, and it became one of the most discussed topics on social media in Azerbaijan.

One young man with several thousand Facebook “friends” posted that he was tired of seeing pictures of the pilot everywhere – the man was trained to kill people and died in the line of work, nothing special.

The post was shared hundreds of times by people demanding punishment for the “traitor.” Some of the more persistent were planning to find him and punish him themselves. They wrote insults and threats in the comments section and even sent them in personal messages.

“My thinking was that I wanted to express humanist ideas, to demonstrate the fallacy of everything connected with military propaganda. Maybe it seemed as if I was debasing a man’s death, but my goal was to debase death in a way that stripped it of its attractiveness. I wanted to keep people from killing and dying for one cause or another.”

And beneath that post were more than five hundred comments saying things along the lines of, “I will slaughter your whole family.”

There was another similar case in 2010, when Mubariz Ibrahimov, who posthumously received the title of National Hero of Azerbaijan, died as a result of an Armenian attack, as the story was painted by the authorities. His death began to spawn myths about his life: they say he was tired of waiting for an order and voluntarily charged the front line, knowing he would die, taking as many enemies with him as possible.

His picture was pasted on cars and buses, and used as profile pictures. In December 2018 a psychology student expressed doubts about his “feats” on her Facebook page. She wrote that the soldiers who had killed Mubariz were normal people who also just wanted to go home, they were not to blame for the occupation which may well have happened before they were even born. That in acting without a direct order, Mubariz had committed a crime and had endangered national interests.

People rushed into the comment section, spouting insults, threats, calling her an Armenian (for many in Azerbaijan this is an insult), demanding punishment, there was even a video made of people trampling her photo. One deputy suggested suing her, but the courts refused to consider the lawsuit. The media only added fuel to the fire. Over time, the turmoil eventually subsided and was forgotten.

I think that these things occur not just because of the propaganda and a distorted sense of patriotism. There is also the fact that the society, embittered by a low standard of living and suppressed by a fear of the authorities, is afraid to protest. Instead of attacking the real targets, their aggression turns to the vulnerable, the dissenters – those who one will not be punished for bullying.

The Azerbaijani education system and all systems through which the state communicates with people, will teach anything but critical thinking, respect for the opinions of others, or loyalty to alternative points of view.

The trend of ostentatious patriotism has become a convenient weapon for us, and it is easy to direct it towards a goal.

And the military conflict is an excuse to push all other problems into the background and declare all who waver in their support as traitors. We are in a war!

It is unlikely that the rhetoric of the authorities will soften anytime soon. One can only hope that the people will wake up to common sense and understand that seeking retribution against those who “think wrong” means lawlessness. At the very least, it is unconscionable. And this lawlessness can come down on anyone, not least of all you.



Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

20:23
Lars road open for all types of vehicles
The roads in the territory of Armenia are passable as of evening November 21, the ministry of emergency situations reported. Fog is observed on...
20:03
Coca-Cola Visitor Center, the first in region, opened its doors to public at Coca-Cola Hellenic Armenia
On November 19, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company Armenia opened to public the doors of the new visitors’ center. As the company...
19:58
Michelle Obama nominated for a Grammy Award
The former US first lady on Wednesday was nominated for the best spoken word album award for her work on the audiobook of her memoir...
19:47
The President of Armenian football federation resigns from office
The President of the Football Federation of Armenia (FFA) Artur Vanetsyan resigned from office on Thursday. The decision was made at the FFA...
18:35
Artsakh president met a group of students from the Diplomatic School of Armenia’s foreign ministry
Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan met today a group of students from the Diplomatic School under the foreign ministry of the Republic of...
18:04
The opinion of the whole population of the region should be considered in NK conflict settlement – Russian Co-Chair
The Nagorno Karabakh conflict cannot be settled without the consent of all interested parties, Russian Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Igor...
16:30
Ralph Yirikian: How to dream and achieve your dreams in a digital era?
Upon yet another invitation from Leadership School VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian had an open door lecture “To dream and to...
16:07
Biden: Impeachment hearings show 'Trump doesn't want me to be the nominee'
Former US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that he learned from the impeachment hearings on Capitol Hill that President Trump and...
15:58
Armenia’s Constantine Orbelian nominated for Grammy Award
Prominent Armenian conductor, Artistic Director of Yerevan Operate Theater Constantine Orbelian has been nominated for a Grammy Award. A TE,...
15:31
Roof of Yerevan restaurant on fire
Firefighters are battling a large fire on the roof of Dolmama, a famous restaurant in downtown Yerevan. Four fire and rescue squads of the...
15:07
Greece: Turkey needs to end 'blackmail' for migrant aid
Greece's migration minister said that Turkey needs to stop "blackmail" if it wants more EU aid, saying its loaded language had...
14:59
SpaceX’s prototype Starship rocket partially bursts during testing in Texas
A test version of SpaceX’s next-generation rocket, Starship, partially burst apart during ground tests in Texas today, erupting plumes of...
14:53
#DrinkingCoffee: Armenian scientists hit back at Pashinyan over Venice remarks
Armenian scientists have launched a campaign on Facebook using the hashtag “Drinking Coffee”. They are angered by Prime Minister...
13:30
At least four dead in Sicily firework depot explosion
At least four people died on Wednesday (Nov 20) in an explosion at a fireworks factory in Sicily, firefighters said after the incident at the...
13:12
Armenian Church celebrates Presentation of Virgin Mary
One of the feasts dedicated to the Blessed Virgin is the Presentation of Virgin Mary (Holy Mother of God) to the temple. All Christian churches...
12:53
Armenian citizens exempted from registration in Kazakhstan within 30 days
The Armenian government on Thursday approved a proposal to sign the agreement on the procedure of visits and stay of citizens of Armenia and...
12:06
Artsakh president signs decree on 2020 winter draft and demobilization
Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan on Thursday signed a decree on the 2020 winter draft and demobilization, his office reported....
11:58
US organization: Syrian-Armenian refugees in Lebanon don’t get direct assistance from government, UN
Many Syrian-Armenians have taken refuge in Lebanon, says Toufic Baaklini, President of the American organization In Defense of Christians. A...
11:19
U.S. consulate staffers in southern Turkey detained for ‘insulting Islamic values’
Turkish police detained two staff members of the U.S. Consulate in Turkey’s southern province of Adana for allegedly insulting Islamic...
11:13
Next phase of environmental program starts in Armenia's Gnishik
About 12,000 trees will be planted in Gnishik settlement of Armenia's Vayots Dzor Province by the end of the year. The work has already...
10:55
‘Joker’ sequel being explored by Todd Phillips, Warner Bros.
“Joker,” the $1 billion-grossing comic-book smash, may take another look at the fraying mind of Arthur Fleck, Variety reports....
10:50
Macron urges protection of youth online at UNESCO celebration of 30th anniversary of Convention on Rights of the Child
UNESCO on Wednesday celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child with a conference attended by 400 youth and...
10:34
Donald Tusk elected president of European People's Party, vows to fight populism
Outgoing European Council President Donald Tusk was elected the new president of the European People's Party (EPP) on Wednesday, DW reports....
10:28
Serzh Sargsyan: Today the voices of those who blame me for yielding power to populists become more prominent
President of the Republican Party of Armenia, third President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan delivered remarks at the European People’s Party...
20:30
Meghan Markle named world's most powerful dresser
If you ever doubted Duchess Meghan's sartorial prowess, then let this leave no room for doubt. According to global search trends and data...
20:16
Armenia considers installing statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Yerevan
Mayor of Yerevan Hayk Marutyan hosted on Wednesday Ambassador of India to Armenia Kishan Dan Dewal, his office reported. Congratulating the...
19:56
Russia balks at Turkish idea of new Syrian military operation
Russia said on Tuesday it was bewildered by a Turkish pledge to conduct a new military operation in northern Syria if the area was not cleared...
19:41
Eduard Topchjan: We need to think seriously about our education system
“When I meet Armenians among my students, I immediately feel it: the genes are different, they are talented. I feel the difference,”...
19:10
Armenian Genocide monument unveiled in Kalamata, Greece
A monument dedicated to the 1915 Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empitre was unveiled in the Greek city of Kalamata on Sunday. The ceremony...
18:58
Jose Mourinho named new Tottenham head coach
Jose Mourinho has been appointed Tottenham manager after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday, BBC reports.  Former Chelsea...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}