The Mayor of Roanne, France, has said he only wants to take Christian refugees in his town to avoid the possibility of taking in “disguised terrorists”.
Right-wing mayor Yves Nicolin made the comments yesterday when stating his town was ready to take refugees – as long as they could be sure they weren’t inadvertently admitting would-be killers to their neighbourhood. He made the comments during an interview with France Bleu, when he said it was absolutely inevitable that among the “hundreds of thousands” of migrants, there would be Jihadist infiltrators.
Remarking that his first duty was towards the safety of his own people, the Mayor said he was deeply concerned about “disguised terrorists” and said “What I hope is that we can be absolutely certain that they are not masked terrorists… That’s the reason for asking for Christian refugees, which would provide a sufficient guarantee.”
“If France decides to host a number of families on its territory and it decides to integrate them, that is to say give them papers, then the town of Roanne could play that role and accommodate around a dozen families,” he said.
“But on the condition that they are Christian refugees because Christians are have been persecuted in Syria by Isis”.
Nicolin’s comments have earned him a swift rebuke from the French government, as interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve shot back: “I really don’t understand this distinction. I condemn it and I think it’s dreadful… Christians from the Middle East must be welcomed but there are also Muslims and other minorities who are persecuted with the same degree of barbarity”.
This is not the first time there has been a preference shown for Christian refugees in Europe.
Cyprus confirmed yesterday it would be willing to take up to 300 refugees, providing they were Christians fleeing persecution. Although it is the closest European state to Syria, the small island of one million has claimed its low population prevents it taking more. The minister for immigration told Cypriot radio that refugees would simply find it easier to adjust to life in their new home if they happened to be Orthodox Christians.
The declaration came only weeks after Slovakia made much the same demand, stating Muslims would not be accepted as they would not ‘feel at home’.
A government spokesman said: “We want to really help Europe with this migration wave but… we are only a transit country and the people don’t want to stay in Slovakia. We could take 800 Muslims but we don’t have any mosques in Slovakia so how can Muslims be integrated if they are not going to like it here?”, reports the BBC.