Azerbaijan not only won the European Song Contest 2011, it also has among the highest oil and natural gas production per person in the world www.bit.ly/iNksgW
Not only has the income per person steadily imporved since 1995, but so has also the mean number of years in school for women and Azerbadjan has today higher GDP/ capita than the two neigbouring Caucasian nations. www.bit.ly/iFAigh
So given the modest developemtn level at the independence from Soviet in 1991, Azerbaijan is now a successful European country. But is this muslim country really European?
Yes it is European, because Azerbaijan is a member of the Councel of Europa http://www.coe.int/aboutcoe/index.asp?page=47pays1europe&l=en , it is a member of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) where Azerbaijan ranks 37 of 53 members http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/uefarankings/country/index.html and as of tonight Azerbaijan is the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest. Interestingly wealth and health of country has no importance for the chance of winning the Song Contest. Winning must be interpreted as a cultural and political expression of being part of Europe. Look at the GDP/capita (6000 to 48 000 dollar) and Life Expectancy (67 to 81 years) of the last 10 winners of Eurovision Song Contest in Gapminder World: www.bit.ly/jIlz5u