Fico rejects creation of compact Muslim community in Slovakia

Prime Minister Robert FicoPrime Minister Robert Fico (Source: TASR)

IN ORDER to keep Slovakia safe, the creation of a compact Muslim community in the country must be prevented, Prime Minister Robert Fico said at a press conference on January 7, adding that this would happen if the mandatory quota system on migrants was applied.

“This is the only way to eliminate risks,” said Fico, as quoted by the TASR newswire, in response to events in Cologne, Germany, where dozens of women were sexually harassed and/or robbed during the city's New Year celebrations.

About 90 women reported to police that they were sexually harassed by young, mainly drunk men, who threatened them and robbed them. According to Cologne Police the suspects were of ‘Arabian or northern African origin’. Two women reported that they had been raped.

“We don’t want something like what happened in Germany to occur in Slovakia,” declared Fico, as quoted by TASR, imagining Slovak women being harassed in public places.

The PM stated that the government has to direct its financial aid addressing the migration crisis mainly to the protection of the Schengen area borders.

Fico went on to state that that there is a clear link between migration flows and the events in Cologne, as well as with the November terrorist attacks in Paris. However, he said he does not apply the concept of collective guilt.

“We protect Slovakia ... There are security risks linked to the migration wave and it is my obligation to talk about them,” Fico said, as quoted by TASR. “I am accountable.”

The Islamic Foundation in Slovakia responded that it rejected the direct or indirect connection of terrorism or sexual violence with Islam or even with the Muslim community in Slovakia.

“Sadly, whether we want it or not, we are becoming an issue of the pre-election campaign,” reads the foundation’s statement. “We fear that the current social atmosphere could endanger the safety of our families, particularly women and children. Therefore we ask our political representatives as well as public figures and media to please have regard to that.”

The government is misusing the issue of migrants to divert public attention away from real problems such as collapsing health care, blossoming corruption, dysfunctional education and a worsening business environment, Most-Hid chair Béla Bugár said in response.

Fico further stated that if the attacks in Paris failed to open the eyes of people in Slovakia who deliberately make light of security risks, the events in Germany will succeed in this because “the security risks are simply enormous”. He was alluding to the New Year’s remarks made by President Andrej Kiska, plus those of the media and of opposition politicians who claim that Slovakia is overreacting.

“These events should be an answer to those who say that migrants with a different religion can easily be integrated,” Fico said, as quoted by TASR. “They can’t, it simply doesn’t work.”

According to Fico, the European Union and some of its member countries did not manage the risks linked to unfettered inflow of migrants into Europe.

“We expect that up to three million more migrants will come to Europe this year,” said Fico, as quoted by TASR. “Currently the weather is holding them back.”

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