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May 28, 2014 1:03 pm

Czech President Blasts Islamist Ideology for Brussels Jewish Museum Attack

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Czech President Miloš Zeman. Photo: David Sedlecký / WikiCommons.

Czech President Miloš Zeman. Photo: David Sedlecký / WikiCommons.

Czech President Miloš Zeman said Monday that Islamist ideology rather than individual groups of religious fundamentalists is responsible for Saturday’s slaying of four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels and similar recent attacks, according to excerpts of a speech he gave at the Israeli Embassy in Prague and published by the Prague Post on Tuesday.

In Brussels, two Israeli tourists and a member of the museum staff were killed by an unknown shooter on Saturday, and another staff member died from injuries on Sunday.

Zeman condemned “the hideous attack” in the speech as part of the celebration of Israeli Independence Day, the Prague Post reported.

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“I will not be calmed down by statements that it is only small marginal groups,” Zeman said. “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 that one of the sacred texts of Islam calls for the killing of Jews, and he would also sharply criticize fanatics who planned to kill 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,” Zeman said.

Zeman is known for his criticism of international terrorism and its links to Islam and has repeatedly called for resolute opposition to violent terrorist actions.

At the Israeli Embassy in Prague, Czech Cardinal Dominik Duka also criticized the Brussels attack and spoke of the dangers of anti-Semitism. Duka said anti-Semitism is dangerous not only for Jews but also for Christians and all people promoting tolerance and mutual friendship.

The Jewish Museum shooter remains at large, while the Belgian judiciary has declared the slayings a terrorist act.

Belgian media reported that the shooter had a Kalashnikov rifle, which is often used by Islamic radicals, and appeared to be carrying a video camera to film the attack.

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