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Azerbaijani Youth of Canada Network responses to anti-Azerbaijani hate campaign

Azerbaijani Youth of Canada Network has sent a letter to the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) in response to its anti-Azerbaijan hate campaign, titled “Azerbaijan: 30 Days of Shame”.

The letter reads: “It has come to our attention that the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) has launched an anti-Azerbaijan hate campaign, titled “Azerbaijan: 30 Days of Shame”, so we have addresses this open letter to your organization.

ANCC has billed itself as “the largest and the most influential Canadian-Armenian grassroots human rights organization,” and yet, you are spending your valuable time at dishonorable attempts to discredit another country via a hate-campaign, which is based on impaired facts. We have noticed articles in your campaign, relating the actions of the Azerbaijani President to that of the Azerbaijani nation, and we would like to ask you if you think this is an objective and intelligent thing to do from the standpoint of your organization? Isn`t ANCC, as an Canadian-Armenian organization, supposed to engage in issues related to the Armenian-Canadian community, or at most deal with problems of Armenia? We do not see ANCC (nor any other organization with similar function) engaging in campaigns dedicated to third countries, even if Armenia`s neighbors. And honestly, that neighborhood has abundant problems, in case ANCC would wish to keep itself busy by covering all of them. In that regard, if highlighting issues of the region is the aim, ANCC would find the most fertile ground in Armenia itself, that would presumably be the most interesting option for the audience of ANCC, unless its objectives are smearing Azerbaijan specifically and creating hatred towards this country among Armenians, and other Canadians in general.

Given that you are an organization seemingly dedicated to helping the Armenian-Canadian community, it is thought-provoking that you`re not spending your resources more productively, such as working toward the betterment of Armenian-Canadians, or at most, dealing with the plethora of issues of Armenia itself, such as poverty, corruption and unemployment in the country.

Another aspect of the campaign is its timing. When there is an increasing pressure on Armenia about the role it and its leaders, including the newly “reelected” president Sargsyan played in the Khojaly tragedy and also in the wake of the obviously rigged and undemocratic elections, such campaign can only serve to deflect attention from such issues. Other than these, Armenia is practically a colony of Russia, which controls it economically, militarily and politically, changing and “electing” officials at will. Armenia has also developed more than warm relations with Iranian current regime, which is a major sponsor of terrorism in the world, and weapons of Armenian origin, sold to Iranian regime and passed to radical groups have already been proven to be used in terrorist attacks. The list of issues ANCC may be interested to cover is endless in Armenia itself, and a month long campaign would barely start touching these issues.

Unfortunately, your campaign cannot be viewed as anything else but a hate campaign, purposely directed at raising animosity against the Azerbaijani people and spreading propaganda against the entire nation. Sadly, we have also noticed an article on your page on Azerbaijan allegedly `putting a strain` on peace talks with Armenia. No hate-campaign has ever achieved peace and it is shameful that you intend to use propaganda and distasteful journalism against Azerbaijan and then post contradictory articles about your alleged aspirations for peace between the two countries. Again, perhaps your efforts could have gone toward the betterment of your community through positive efforts and actions.

There is also the continuing fact of more than two decades of occupation of a significant part of Azerbaijan and ethnic cleansing of more than 800 thousand Azerbaijanis from these lands. Coupled with 200 thousand Azerbaijanis expulsed from Armenia itself, such magnitude of problems- having every ninth inhabitant a displaced person and devoid of one fifth of its territory, would create huge difficulties for any country. Thus, if there are problems in Azerbaijan that ANCC so eagerly plans to cover, isn`t the Armenian contribution to them obvious? Being aware of these tragic events, we ask you to, at the very least, maintain your integrity and respect the people who have lost their lives as a result of Armenia`s aggression and territorial ambitions. Your hatecampaign, maliciously titled “Azerbaijan: 30 Days of Shame” only serves to increase hatred, aversion and prejudice between the communities. Such organizations should work to increase the well-being of their community. Using their resources for creating further friction between the communities is the last thing they should do and it amounts to the betrayal of Canadian values, which highly regard the good will and understanding between different ethnic groups.”

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