Czech leader claims Muslim Brotherhood behind migrant wave
PRAGUE - Agence France-Presse
AFP photoCzech President Milos Zeman, known for his anti-migrant comments, on Jan. 4 claimed the current wave of more than a million newcomers to Europe was the work of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
"I believe this invasion is being organised by the Muslim Brotherhood, using financial means from a number of states," the outspoken 71-year-old leftwinger told the public Czech Radio.
Zeman said he had received the information regarding the Muslim Brotherhood -- an opposition force in Egypt where it has been outlawed as a terrorist organisation -- from two sources, "both Muslims and leading Arab politicians".
He said the record migrant crisis is due to Europe's obliging stance towards migrants on the one hand, and to "the efforts of the Brotherhood to meet its goals" on the other.
"The Muslim Brotherhood cannot start a war against Europe, it doesn't have the power, but it can prepare a growing migrant wave and gradually control Europe," said the Czech Republic's first-ever directly elected head of state.
Late last year, Zeman called the refugee wave "an organised invasion," urging young men from Iraq and Syria to "take up arms" against the Islamic State (IS) group instead of running away.
More than one million migrants reached Europe in 2015, most of them refugees fleeing war and violence in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, according to the United Nations refugee agency.
But few asylum seekers have chosen to stay in the largely secular Czech Republic, an EU and NATO member of 10.5 million people, with the majority heading to wealthier Germany and other western EU states.