Czech Republic: Demonstration against Islam, counter-protest for coexistence
More than 200 people gathered in the town of České Budějovice today for a demonstration convened by the "We Don't Want Islam in the Czech Republic" initiative. Approximately 30 people counter-protested them nearby.
Police did not have to intervene. "Islam has been a threat for 1 300 years and has become more of one in recent years. The situation is not calming down. If anyone tells you coexistence with Islam is possible, have them go take a look at the places where Islam is dominant. In the Middle East, Christians are third-class citizens, in some places they are oppressed, in others they are being slain. That's not my idea of coexistence," said Martin Konvička, the head of the anti-Islamic initiative who is also an educator at the University of South Bohemia.
Miroslav Kulhánek also spoke at the "We Don't Want Islam in the Czech Republic" (IVČRN) demonstration and was introduced by the moderator as a Romani activist from West Bohemia. "Recently an article came up on the Internet by Ms Ivanka Čonková, who wrote that the IVČRN is inciting Romani people against Muslims. The IVČRN doesn't have to do any such thing, because the remarks made by representatives of the Muslim communities in the Czech Republic about the inferiority of women, Christians, Jews and atheists are enough," he said at the start of his speech.
The Romani activist said there is no reason to respect Muslims or their right to their beliefs because their faith does not respect the right to have no faith. He also said he does not know any moderate Muslims and that there is a need to tell the religion of Islam that it has no business operating in the Czech Republic.
"When an ideology is perverse, the people who believe in it are perverse too. It doesn't matter whether the ideology is communism, Nazism or Islam," he said.
About 30 people gathered near St. Nicholas Cathedral, a few dozen meters away from the anti-Islamic protest, for ecumenical prayers for the peaceful coexistence of all people irrespective of ethnicity, faith, nationality or political convictions. "The arguments used by the people around 'We Don't Want Islam in the Czech Republic' seem pretty crazy to me. There are matters over which Islam can be criticized, but it is not possible to condemn an entire religion. The solutions they propose are not realistic," Ivo Vlasatý, the organizer of the counter-demonstration, told news server iDNES.cz; counter-protesters said they believe the events convened by "We Don't Want Islam in the Czech Republic" are spreading xenophobia.
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