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Czech FM On Muslim Immigration: Integration Has Failed

by Virginia Hale

The Czech foreign minister has slammed mass Muslim migration to Europe. Lubomir Zaorálek defended Eastern Europe’s hardline approach to the migrant crisis, pointed to Paris and declared: “Don’t tell us that integration has succeeded”.

In a wide ranging interview, Mr. Zaorálek said the Czechs feared Muslim migrants would create Islamised ghettos. The pro-Europe minister also slammed the “politicised” European Commission for “pouring oil on the fire” which is destabilising Europe.

Mr. Zaorálek said the Czech Republic accepted the migrant quota that the European Union (EU) imposed on them, but said the quotas are the “wrong approach”. Of those the country has taken so far, Mr. Zaorálek said many of them quickly left for Germany, which, the foreign minister says, poses questions.

He said: “It is an absolutely alien environment, they have no family, no infrastructure, nothing that could satisfy their religious needs.

“They had the feeling of being total strangers here. Now, if an automatic mechanism would specify that we should take 3,000 people per year, then the problem is not that we couldn’t take them, but what are they doing here?”

The Czech politician looked to Western Europe to illustrate the problems caused by mass Muslim migration. Noting the Islamised ghettos of Brussels and Paris, Mr. Zaorálek said the idea of admitting several thousand migrants a year to the Czech Republic makes the population feel anxious. He said when Czechs watch television and look at Western Europe they see terror attacks.

“Then people say,” he told the interviewer at Die Welt, “‘they shouldn’t merely tell us that integration has been successful.”

Die Welt asked Mr. Zaorálek whether the majority of Czechs therefore reject immigration from Muslim countries. The minister replied that the prevailing feeling in the country is: “Why should we be tolerant of someone who has no tolerance for us?

“We would therefore have a misunderstanding if we now decide to accept the existing quotas without knowing how the situation will develop further.

“Because of this fear, such a solution [of indefinite EU-imposed quotas of migrants] would not be viable.”

Mr. Zaorálek said he tells his EU counterparts there are many things that the bloc’s nations can do together. But he said the union often goes too far which serves to “pour oil on the fire” and destabilises the continent.

“We have a pro-[EU] government,” he told the German paper, “but the steps that are now being made just evoke such reactions that are uncomfortable for us.

“You have to see that the European institutions in a way alienate a number of European countries and yet…the Commission [under] Barroso was much more careful here. Rather than go out and cause conflicts among states, they tried to calm the situation.”

Asked whether the current Commission “stirs up conflict” between the bloc’s nations, Mr. Zaorálek complained it was beset with “a kind of politicisation”.

“The European Commission should work positively towards sharing responsibility. And not raise questions that lead to conflicts between states or within states.”

Mr. Zaorálek condemned the Commission’s proposed €240,000 fine per refugee refused, calling it a “further alienation”.

“When we work on our proposals, we have worked together, I think we could do something together. Instead, such proposals are made accompanied by very violent declarations.

“What is it about us in Europe? Do we really want to work to shatter and divide Europe? That would be the end of the idea of community.”

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