The mayor of a French town has sparked criticism by saying that he is ready to accept refugees, but only if they are Christians, as it would be "enough guarantee they were not disguised terrorists," The Local reported yesterday.
Yves Nicolin, the mayor of Roanne, will be among mayors from all over France who will convene Saturday to discuss the accommodation of 24,000 refugees that the country promised to shelter. He said his town can take "maybe a dozen families," but they must be Christian refugees who are persecuted for being Christian in Syria by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). By accepting only Christian refugees, he also could be sure they were not "terrorists in disguise," he said, adding that he also wants to make sure that they are not economic migrants and insisting his stance is not "any kind of religious discrimination."
According to The Local, Nicolin spoke to France Bleu radio, saying "I simply said we must determine the real intentions of the migrants. I have a duty. I am here to protect my citizens."
Cyprus, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have also said they would prefer Christians under any EU resettlement scheme for migrants fleeing the Middle East, proposing the argument that it is easier for Christians to integrate in Europe.