As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, President Miloš Zeman of the Czech Republic had some forthright things to say about Islam at a closed-door reception to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) took note of Mr. Zeman’s speech, expressed its disappointment and disapproval, and demanded an apology.
True to form, the Czech president has declined to apologize for his words, giving a sound theological justification for his decision. Our Czech correspondent Gemini has translated the quote released in the Czech media, and includes this note:
There is only a brief response from Miloš Zeman. The media quote only those two sentences; the rest of their reports consist of quotations of parts of his previous speech, the OIC’s response, etc.
The translated excerpt from idNES.cz:
President Miloš Zeman is not going to apologise for his statements in which he linked Islamic ideology with violence. His words were conveyed by his spokesperson Jiří Ovčáček: “President Zeman definitely does not intend to apologise. For the president would consider it blasphemy to apologise for the quotation of a sacred Islamic text.”
As far as I am aware, Miloš Zeman is the first Western head of state ever to tell the OIC to go jump in a lake. So this is an historic occasion.
For more on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, see the OIC Archives.