PRAGUE, Czech Republic — A warning by Czech President Milos Zeman that Islamic State jihadists must be crushed to prevent a “super Holocaust” with hundreds of millions of victims was slapped down as “nonsense” by the country’s foreign minister on Tuesday.
Speaking at a Holocaust forum in Prague, Zeman warned against genocide that “would not hit 6 million Jews (as was the case in World War II) but all possible religions, atheists and even Muslims.”
“The Islamic State is similar in character to the Nazi Germany of the early 1930s,” the 70-year-old leftwinger said on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“If we are to prevent a super Holocaust and massive slaughters of people, we need concerted military action… under the aegis of the United Nations Security Council,” Zeman added.
But Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek slammed the proposal as “nonsense”, saying: “I don’t believe in any further military interventions by the West in Syria, Iraq or God knows where.”
“It is up to Muslims, especially Arabs, to cure the cancer of radical Islamic ideology. They must prove that murder and terror are not the real face of Islam these days.”
The Islamic State jihadist group, also known as ISIL, holds swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, where it has declared an Islamic “caliphate”.
The gunman who shot dead four Jews in a kosher supermarket in Paris on January 9 — in a series of attacks in the French capital that left 17 people dead — had allied himself with IS.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said last week that “terrorists want to drive us apart, but in fact their actions have had the opposite effect, they’re bringing us together… with greater determination.”
The United States leads a coalition backing Kurdish groups and the Iraqi government in their fight against IS.