Egyptian President: Migrants Must ‘Abide by Laws, Customs, Traditions, and Culture’ of the West

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Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has urged migrants to “completely abide by the laws, customs, traditions, and culture” of the countries they move to, or — better yet — to work on making their home countries worth staying in.

“Every country has the right to protect its people and their interests,” the Arab leader told the World Youth Forum in Sharm-el-Sheikh, explaining that Western countries had the right to uphold human rights “in a framework that preserves [their] national interests.”

The former army general told his audience in no uncertain terms: “[I]f you go to another country as a guest, you must completely abide by its laws, customs, traditions and culture. You must abide by them completely. If you are not willing to do this, don’t go” — advice which would have provoked outrage from the left-liberal commentariat had been issued by a Western leader.

“Instead of asking me why countries [in the West] close their gates to us, you should ask yourself why the people of Afghanistan don’t take better care of their own country. Why have they been killing one another for 40 years?” he continued provocatively.

“This happens in other countries as well – in Pakistan, in Egypt, in Syria, in Libya, in Iraq, in Yemen, and in Somalia. We fight amongst ourselves in our own countries, and then we expect countries that work day and night to achieve progress to protect their people and to maintain a certain standard of living for them — we demand that they let us in so we can have part of their [success],” he added.

“Do you expect them to open their doors so that we can go there demanding to keep our own culture?”

Al-Sisi chided migrants who “demand to go [to the West] with your culture which you consider to be non-negotiable. You say, ‘this is how we are and you must accept us [because of] human rights’. No.”

“Don’t expect them to open the door for you so you can go into their country and cause trouble. No.”

The Egyptian may find a receptive audience in Central Europe and Italy, where national populist and conservative governments have begun to reject the convention wisdom in Western European countries such as Great Britain, Germany, and Sweden that mass migration and multiculturalism are inherently desirable.

“[I]t is our intention to keep Hungary a Hungarian country, and yes, we do not agree with those who say multiculturalism is by definition good,” the Hungarian foreign minister told left-liberal BBC presenter Emily Maitlis in a contentious interview in June 2018, arguing that Budapest accepted Western Europe’s decision to follow adopt a multicultural model of society, but that he would not accept the European Union trying to force Hungary down the same path.

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