Islam was never part of Europe: Hungary PM Viktor Orban

Says Hungary PM Viktor Orban, who had drawn considerable criticism with his approach of erecting fences and heavy-handed treatment of migrants from Syria

Barlin: Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban defended his hardline stance against refugees, the vast majority of whom are Muslim, said that Islam “has never been part of Europe”.

Hungary PM Viktor Orban also said that everyone is not entitled to a life in Germany or Hungary. Pic/AFP
Hungary PM Viktor Orban also said that everyone is not entitled to a life in Germany or Hungary. Pic/AFP 

Speaking to a news weekly about the record migrant influx, he said “the language of the European elite is ideological and dogmatic. Islam has never been part of Europe; it came to us.”

He conceded that Germany’s Turkish migrants, who arrived in 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,” said Orban. He also hit out at 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. Orban asserted that most asylum seekers arriving in Europe are actually economic migrants. "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.

6 lakh
The approximate number of migrants who arrived in Europe this year

Hungary's hard heart

In the face of a historic surge in migrant arrivals, Hungary in September sealed its border with Serbia.

On Thursday, it announced it had also completed a fence along the Croatian border. 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 chief Ban Ki-moon.

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