Czech president says he condemns any group that targets another based on religion
Prague, May 27 (ČTK) — Islamic ideology rather than individual groups of religious fundamentalists is behind violent actions similar to the gun attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels that killed four people, Czech President Miloš Zeman said Monday at the Israeli Embassy in Prague.
Two Israeli tourists and a member of the museum staff were killed by an unknown shooter Saturday, and another staff member died of his injuries Sunday.
Zeman’s speech sharply condemning “the hideous attack” was posted on his official website today. Zeman took part in the celebration of the 66 years of independence of Israel.
“I will not be calmed down by statements that it is only small marginal groups. I believe, on the contrary, that this xenophobia and this racism or anti-Semitism stem from the very nature of the ideology on which these fanatical groups rely,” Zeman said.
He said one of the sacred texts of Islam calls for the killing of Jews.
Zeman said he would also sharply criticize fanatics who planned to kill the Arabs.
“However, I have heard of no movement calling for the massive murder of Arabs, but I know about an anti-civilization movement that calls for the massive murdering of Jews,” he said.
Zeman is known for his criticism of international terrorism and its links to Islam. He repeatedly called for resolute opposition to violent terrorist actions during his official visits abroad.
Zeman said he attended the reception held on Israel’s Independence Day out of “solidarity with a friend.”
Czech Cardinal Dominik Duka criticized the Brussels attack, too.
Duka said anti-Semitism was dangerous not only for Jews but also for Christians and all people promoting tolerance and mutual friendship.
Israel’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, Gary Koren, said after meeting Duka today the Brussels attack was an awful reminder of how far the murderous hatred against Israel and the Jewish nation can go.
The Belgian judiciary said the shooting was a terrorist act. The shooter has not been caught yet. The Belgian papers wrote that the shooter had a Kalashnikov rifle, which is often used by Islamic radicals, and seemed to be carrying a video camera to film the attack.