The Czech President Miloš Zeman has called the current wave of refugees to Europe “an organized invasion”, saying that young men from Syria and Iraq should instead “take up arms” against Daesh.
“I am profoundly convinced that we are facing an organized invasion and not a spontaneous movement of refugees,” said Zeman in his Christmas message to the Czech Republic, which was released on Saturday.
He said that compassion was “possible” for refugees who are old or sick and for children, but not for young men who, in his view, should be back home fighting against militants.
“A large majority of the illegal migrants are young men in good health, and single. I wonder why these men are not taking up arms to go fight for the freedom of their countries against the Islamic State [Daesh],” said Zeman, who was elected Czech president in early 2013.
He added that their fleeing their war-torn countries only serves to strengthen Daesh.
The 71 year old evoked a comparison to the situation of Czechs who left their country when it was under Nazi occupation (1939-1945) in order to “fight to liberate the country and not to receive social benefits in Great Britain.”
It’s not the first time Zeman has taken a controversial stance on Europe’s worst refugee crisis since the Second World War.
In November, the leftwinger attended an anti-Islam rally in Prague.
A recent survey showed that nearly 70 percent of Czechs oppose the arrival of migrants and refugees in their country.