Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has defended his tough stance against Middle East immigrants by saying that Islam, the religion of the overwhelming number of people now entering Europe, is the “rulebook of another world” that has “never been part of Europe”.
In an interview extract published today in Germany’s Focus news weekly, Mr Orban spoke about the record migrant influx flooding Europe, offering that “the language of the European elite is ideological and dogmatic”.
“Islam has never been part of Europe, it came to us,” Orban told Focus in a story to be published in full Saturday. Mr Orban said that Germany’s Turkish migrants, who arrived in their tens of thousands from the 1960s for work, now “belong to German history and therefore Europe’s too”.
“But spiritually, Islam was never part of Europe. It’s the rulebook of another world,” he said. Mr Orban also attacked France and Germany for refusing to countenance “any doubts” over a multicultural society. “We in Hungary decide what we want or don’t want. We don’t want that,” he said.
Almost 600,000 people have arrived in Europe so far this year, with many of them heading for Germany and Sweden after first passing through Hungary’s borders. Mr Orban asserted that most asylum seekers arriving in Europe are actually economic migrants rather than genuine refugees from war.
“Not everyone is entitled to a life in Germany or a life in Hungary. That’s only for those who have worked for it,” he said. In the face of a historic surge in migrant arrivals, Hungary in September sealed its border with Serbia courtesy of a 175km (109-mile) fence.
Yesterday, it announced it had also completed a fence along the Croatian border and Mr Orban is urging Britain and other EU members to take part in a mass deployment of security forces to help close the Greek border and end the migrant crisis.
Hungary’s use of fences and its treatment of migrants — including serious clashes on September 16 between police and migrants — has been sharply criticised, including by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
For his part, Mr Orban has never apologised for putting the interests of Hungary above those of the rest of the European Union.