PRAGUE (ChurchMilitant.com) - In the battle over Muslim migrants, Prague is standing firm against Brussels.
Speaking in Austria Tuesday, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka reiterated his government's position that mass migration from North Africa and the Middle East into the Czech Republic will not be permitted.
"When we see problems in other European countries, we do not want Muslims in the Czech Republic," he said in an interview with Austrian newspaper Die Presse.
Since that time, crime has skyrocketed in western European countries.
In February, a Swedish police officer took to social media to express his frustration with the situation, listing the crimes he handled in a single week: "rape, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, rape-assault and rape, extortion, blackmail, assault, violence against police, threats to police, drug crime, drugs, crime, felony, attempted murder, rape again, extortion again and ill-treatment."
The countries representing the crimes were, he continued, "Iraq, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Somalia, Syria again, Somalia, unknown, unknown country, Sweden. Half of the suspects, we can't be sure about because they don't have any valid papers. Which in itself usually means that they're lying about their nationality and identity."
In May, a leaked German government report warned that up to 6.6 million migrants are waiting along the southern shores of the Mediterranean to cross into Europe. But instead of canceling their open-door policy, E.U. officials have demanded union member states share the burden, establishing a quota program under which each country is expected to admit thousands of migrants.
But E.U. bureaucrats have unexpectedly hit a snag: a core of resistance to their plan, coming from a small bloc of traditionally Catholic countries in the heart of Europe. The Visegrád Group, composed of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, has unilaterally rejected the E.U.'s migrant quota program.
Despite threats of sanctions from Brussels, they have refused to surrender sovereignty over their borders, and have called upon the E.U. to defend its periphery.
"We would greatly appreciate if Europe would better protect its external border," urged Sobotka. "Receiving refugees should always be the responsibility of nation states."
The prime minister noted that the Czech Republic supports helping culturally similar populations. Currently, Czechs are "helping people coming from Eastern Europe," he said, notably, Ukrainians fleeing the insurrection along the country's southeastern border with Russia.
Czech President Miloš Zeman has also weighed in on the cultural make-up of migrants. "Ukrainians, too, are refugees," he noted "and with their origin and diligence, they are somewhat close to us."
In February, Zeman praised "immigrants who come here to work and who have similar language and similar culture like ours." He applauded both the Ukrainian and Vietnamese immigrant communities, noting they assimilate well and are appreciative of and contributive to Czech culture and society.
But Zeman blasted the migrant influx pressing in on his country, suggesting that even moderate Muslim migrants could easily be radicalized. "Islam," he warned, is "a religion of death" and culturally incompatible with European civilization.