Czech president urges world to unite against jihadists

Czech President Milos Zeman liked the Islamic State militants to Nazi Germany. — Reuters pic
Czech President Milos Zeman liked the Islamic State militants to Nazi Germany. — Reuters pic

PRAGUE, Jan 27 — Czech President Milos Zeman today called for international military action against IS jihadists to prevent a what he called a”super Holocaust” with hundreds of millions of victims.

Speaking at a Holocaust forum in Prague, Zeman warned against genocide that “would not hit six 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.

The Islamic State jihadist group, also known as IS and ISIL, holds swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, where it has declared an Islamic “caliphate”.

It has a reputation for brutality, including executions and torture, and apparently beheaded a Japanese contractor just last week after failing to receive a $200 million ransom. 

The Islamist 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—said he was a member of IS.

“If we are to prevent a super Holocaust and massive slaughters of people, we need concerted military action on an international level and under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council” with all permanent council members taking part, Zeman said. 

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 forces in Syria and Iraq in their fight against IS.

Zeman said the united action should involve modern arms such as drones instead of a “fruitless occupation of territories”.

“However... I’m afraid that it will take a number of terror attacks before the public realises that you don’t negotiate with terrorists, that you fight terrorists and that we can’t fight terrorists merely with superficial changes, but with power,” he said. — AFP