Czech president attends anti-Islam and refugees rally

Czech President Milos Zeman says young refugees should have stayed in their war-torn countries to fight against DAESH during his speech in anti-Islam rally

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Czech President Milos Zeman delivers his speech during the anti-islam rally on the 26th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution on November 17, 2015 in Prague

Czech President Milos Zeman has attented a rally against Islam and refugees in Prauge on Tuesday on the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution which toppled communism in 1989.

During the rally organised by anti-refugee movement Bloc Against Islam he insisted that Czechs were not xenophobes and the previous wave of refugees were welcomed by Czechs unlike the new ones because their culture was “compatible with European values” which is not “the culture of murderers and not the culture of religious hate."

Zeman has been known for his “Islamophobic” and “anti-refugee” rhetoric since he stated the refugees could bring terrorism and infectious diseases and ordered the country’s armed forces to guard borders against the threat.

People holding Czech national flags attend an anti-Islam rally and support Czech President Milos Zeman on the 26th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution on November 17, 2015 in Prague

In Monday’s speech he defended his previous Islamophobic statements and xenophobic discourse saying that everyone had right to express their free opinion and urged society not to stay silent out of fear of being labelled “extremists, xenophobes, Islamophobes, racist or fascist”.

“Such labels are no arguments and they only show how ideologically feeble are those who label citizens thus” he continued his words.

He also said, majority of refugees were well-fed young man and they should have stayed in their war-torn countries instead of immigrating and should have fought against DAESH.

Some of the anti-Islam protesters held banners written “long live Zeman” and “no Islam” while carrying banners with photos of German Chancellor Angela Merkel crossed with red marker refering her refugee-friendly policy.

Xenophobic and anti-Islam movement Pegida supporters also chanted some slogans during the rally.

According to the latest figures, more than 760,000 refugees reached Europe in 2015. The majority of the refugees come from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Eritrea.

In the world’s top refugee producing country Syria, 250,000 people have died since the civil war broke out in 2015 and 11 million people in the country have forcibly fled their homes.

Even though the Czech Republic is not one of the main refugee taking countries, 70 percent of the population stands against refugees.

In October, UN accused Czech Republic of committing human rights violations by detaining refugees for a very long period of time and strip-searching them and taking money for their detention.

TRTWorld and agencies