The Dali Lama told a German newspaper this week that “too many” refugees are heading into Europe.
The Tibetan spiritual leader told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that accepting huge number of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa was not a tenable position from a cultural perspective.
“Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country,” the Dali Lama said, Agence France Press reported Tuesday. “Germany is Germany. There are so many that in practice it becomes difficult. … From a moral point of view, too, I think that the refugees should only be admitted temporarily.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed more than 1.1 million refugees into the country last year and was named Time magazine’s 2015 Person of the Year for the decision.
“For asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply, Angela Merkel is Time’s Person of the Year,” Nancy Gibbs, Time’s managing editor, wrote in December.
Skyrocketing crime and terrorism across Europe linked to the Islamic State group caused German voters to sour on the policy, and the chancellor’s Christian Democrats, or CDU, were walloped in March’s region elections.
The Dali Lama added that despite the need to empathize with refugees, the ultimate goal “should be that they return and help rebuild their countries.”