Oct 24, 2023

Minister of Interior: No Evidence of Muslim Radicalisation in Czechia

There is currently no evidence of radicalisation of the Muslim community in the Czech Republic, Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN) said on Sunday in light of increasing terrorism-related incidents across the EU.

“At this point, we have no indication that there is radicalisation in the Muslim community in the Czech Republic,” Rakusan told Czech Television on Sunday.

He also pointed out that the Muslim community in the country is not significant, and events in support of Palestine organised in Czechia were not primarily Muslim events, unlike those in Berlin and Paris.

Sociologists estimate that roughly 20,000 Muslims live in the Czech Republic.

The minister said police extremism experts supervise the pro-Palestinian events. Rakušan also stressed that sharing terrorist content is unacceptable in the Czech Republic, adding that no statement at the demonstrations explicitly supported Hamas.

All pro-Palestine demonstrations in the Czech Republic have so far been peaceful.

“We will not allow terrorism to be supported in any way in the Czech Republic, we will intervene at that moment,” said Rakušan.

According to the minister, national security forces are still assessing the situation, and the state is ready to raise the terror risk level if necessary. He added that he had no information that radicalised Palestinians were coming to the Czech Republic with the current migration wave.

Miroslav Mareš, a political scientist at Masaryk University in Brno, noted that although the current situation in Israel and the Gaza Strip resonates with the Muslim community, it does not automatically mean that violence will occur.

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Supporters of pro-Palestinian groups, mostly from the far left, have a risk potential, according to Mareš. Mareš also stressed that the majority of society perceives the heated demonstrations from Western Europe negatively and fears that they could be transferred to the Czech streets.

Meanwhile, in Brussels, policymakers do not fear “organised” terrorist attacks but, on the contrary, fear the so-called “lone wolves”.

According to an EU source familiar with the ongoing discussion, secret services cannot easily spot lone wolves.

“The more disproportional Israel’s reaction against Gaza will be, the more problems will be caused in EU streets”, the source warned.

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