Czech President Milos Zeman
Czech President Milos Zeman Kobi Gideon, GPO

Milos Zeman, President of the Czech Republic, who is known for his fiery anti-migrant rhetoric, said that it is "practically impossible" to integrate the Muslim community into European society in a televised interview he held on Sunday. "The experience of Western European countries which have ghettos and excluded localities shows that the integration of the Muslim community is practically impossible."

"Let them have their culture in their countries and not bring it to Europe, otherwise the situation will end up like what happened in Cologne," he added. Zeman was referring to the massive number of assaults that took place against women during  New Year's Eve that have left scars on the memories of many Germans, and  created massive reprisals and anti-immigrant retaliations in the city and elsewhere.

"Integration is possible with cultures that are similar, and the similarities may vary," Zeman said, specifically illustrating how the Vietnamese and Ukranian communities have integrated into Czech society.

Zeman, who is 71 years old is considered to be left-wing, and is the first-ever directly elected president of the Czech Republic, even though he is the third person to hold this title. He has repeatedly spoken out against the surge of migrants and refugees who have been arriving in Europe over the past two years.

Zeman went so far as to claim that the influx of refugees into European lands was masterminded by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Zeman said that the Islamist group was getting funding from several states to finance its bid to "gradually control Europe".

Zeman in a statement made in 2015 urged the migrants, many of whom are young men to take up arms against ISIS, rather than flee. He called the influx of refugees “an organized invasion.” Few asylum seekers have chosen to stay in the secular Czech Republic. The Republic is an EU and NATO member and boasts a population of 10.5 million people. The majority of refugees have headed to Germany and other wealthier countries.  

As part of the EU quota scheme the Czech government has pledged to accept 160,000 refugees, but says that the number is unrealistic as most of the migrant who pass through want to continue onwards to Germany and do not wish to stop in the Republic.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said that the plan is doomed to failure.