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Dienstbier: Zeman helps enhance rise of fascism in Czech society

in Czech News by

Czech human rights minister says it is unthinkable for a head of state to behave in this manner

Prague, Nov 18 (ČTK) — President Miloš Zeman helps create conditions for the rise of fascism in Czech society, Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier told the Czech News Agency today, adding that some of Zeman’s statements are xenophobic and Islamophobic, and arouse fear in society.

With his appearance at a Prague-Albertov meeting on Tuesday, Zeman crossed all acceptable limits by supporting “hateful groups in society,” Dienstbier (Social Democrats, ČSSD) said.

In reaction to him, Zeman’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said Dienstbier once again showed his contempt for citizens, their views and rightful apprehension.

Dienstbier said he “could never imagine the head of this state supporting extremist positions, behaving in a way that divides and splits the society, and mainly scaring people,” Dienstbier said.

He commented on the November 17 national holiday event at which Zeman appeared together with members of the Bloc Against Islam movement, which is hostile to Islam and the acceptance of Muslim refugees.

“I cannot imagine the head of state speaking this way in any other civilized country, backing such hateful groups in society, and the society tolerating this,” Dienstbier said.

Martin Konvička, who heads the Bloc Against Islam, previously suggested on Facebook, for example, that Muslims be ground to make bone meal of them.

Dienstbier said he considers not only Zeman’s statements but also his vocabulary is xenophobic and Islamophobic.

“Above all, it is utterly unacceptable to make lump judgments, far away from assessing individual people’s behavior and lifestyle,” Dienstbier said, adding that several thousands of Muslims live in the Czech Republic, who are quite unproblematic.

Zeman recently spoke about the threat of the introduction of the Islamic Sharia law in the Czech Republic and said that most refugees do not deserve compassion.

In October, his statements were criticized as xenophobic by the UN Commissioner for Human Rights.

Dienstbier said Zeman contributes to fomenting fear instead of being a moderator who tries to calm down the situation and help seek joint solutions.

Zeman helps create conditions for a rise of fascism in society at least, Dienstbier said.

“Of course, with his way of stirring fears in society and commenting on the situation, he contributes to this, creates the atmosphere, and I would even say he leads the process with his utterances,” Dienstbier added.

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