Czech president Miloš Zeman, via his spokesman, stood by a speech made at the Israeli Embassy in Prague, where he quoted the Koran calling for Muslims to kill Jews, refusing to retract what he said or apologize for quoting from the holy book.
Czech media reported spokesman Jiří Ovčáček’s statement saying that Zeman would not be apologizing for his statements in which he linked Islamic ideology with violence.
“President Zeman definitely does not intend to apologize,” the spokesman said. “For the president would consider it blasphemy to apologize for the quotation of a sacred Islamic text.”
Iyad Ameen Madani, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, issued a statement condemning Zeman’s speech, saying, “It is only appropriate that President Milōs Zeman apologizes to the millions of Muslims worldwide for his deeply offensive and hateful anti Islam statements.”
In the OIC’s statement, it said, “The Secretary General reiterated that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance and that terrorism should not be equated to any race or religion; a stance upheld by all major UN texts on the subject of countering terrorism. He added that the OIC countries share a profound respect for all religions and condemn any message of hatred and intolerance.”
The criticism of Islam in Zeman’s speech was widely reported, as he reflected on the Brussels Jewish Museum shooter, with the primary suspect now believed to be an ISIS soldier, the French Islamist Mehdi Nemmouche. But many newspapers left out the actual quotes from the Hadiths of Mohammed and the Hamas charter Zeman used in his speech, something he may have expected on the grounds of “political correctness,” which he mentioned, suggesting that the phrase is now a “euphemism for political cowardice.”
There are states with whom we share the same values, such as the political horizon of free elections or a free market economy. However, no one threatens these states with wiping them off the map. No one fires at their border towns; no one wishes that their citizens would leave their country. There is a term, political correctness. This term I consider to be a euphemism for political cowardice. Therefore, let me not be cowardly.
There are dozens of days of independence being celebrated every year in the Czech Republic. Some I may attend, others I cannot. There is one I can never miss, however: it’s the Israeli Independence Day.
There was a hideous assassination in the flower of Europe in the heart of European Union in a Jewish museum in Brussels. I will not let myself being calmed down by the declaration that there are only tiny fringe groups behind it. On the contrary, I am convinced that this xenophobia, and let’s call it racism or antisemitism, emerges from the very essence of the ideology these groups subscribe to.
So let me quote one of their sacred texts to support this statement: ‘A tree says, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. A stone says, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’
I would criticize those calling for the killing of Arabs, but I do not know of any movement calling for mass murdering of Arabs. However, I know of one anti-civilization movement calling for the mass murder of Jews.
After all, one of the paragraphs of the statutes of Hamas says: ‘Kill every Jew you see.’ Do we really want to pretend that this is an extreme viewpoint? Do we really want to be politically correct and say that everyone is nice and only a small group of extremists and fundamentalists is committing such crimes?
Blogger Gates of Vienna, who flagged the spokesman’s statement on Thursday, said “As far as I am aware, Miloš Zeman is the first Western head of state ever to tell the OIC to go jump in a lake. So this is an historic occasion.”