Monday, August 29, 2016

Merkel: 'Unacceptable' for EU Members to Close Doors to Migrants Because They're Muslim

It is "unacceptable" for some European Union members to close their doors to refugees just because they are Muslims, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday.

"Everybody has to do their bit," she told ARD television. "What I continue to think is wrong is that some say, 'We generally don't want Muslims in our country regardless if there is a humanitarian need or not.' We're going to have to keep discussing that."

German officials say they expect to grant entry to as many as 300,000 migrants throughout all of 2016. They are mainly from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, where their lives are in danger from war and Islamic terrorism.

Merkel wants a quota system for the 28-member European Union to accept would-be immigrants.

Several EU members, particularly those in the east with pro-nationalist leaders, oppose any plans to take in any migrants from the Mideast and South Asia, while others oppose quotas.

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said last week he does not want a large Muslim community because of the "problems we are seeing." He said it should be up to each EU country to decide how many to migrants to take in.

Merkel appeared at the German Chancellery's open house for all citizens and visitors Sunday, shaking hands, posing for pictures and signing autographs for supporters and opponents.

She told the crowd these are "challenging political times," but that security overseas is a key to Germany's security.

"Doing everything to stop the current wars in Syria and others from where we see horrible pictures, to find a solution that is sometimes very, very difficult...we here in Germany should consider ourselves happy to be able to live in peace together, despite the problems we have."

A new poll shows about half of all Germans oppose a fourth term for Merkel as chancellor. She has not yet decided if she will run again next year.

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