SHAFAQNA -Â â€œThis is a land that all of Poland should look at, especially today, because it is exemplary,â€ he said in the town of SokÃ³lka, noting that Catholics live side by side in the region with citizens of the Orthodox faith, as well as Muslims.
â€œDifferent cultures and traditions have mingled here for many centuries,â€ he stressed, adding that there is a â€œwonderful coexistence.â€
The president also visited a 19th century mosque in Bohoniki, where he was welcomed by Tomasz MiÅ›kiewicz, mufti of Poland’s Muslim Religious Association.
Referring to refugees who may come to Poland in the near future, as â€œthey have been forced out of their countries owing to fear for their life,â€ he spoke of the example set by the Tatar community.
â€œIÂ would like allÂ those whoÂ come toÂ the Republic,Â on findingÂ themselves in our country,Â to feel theÂ sameÂ inner needÂ and conviction to be ofÂ service to their new homeland andÂ society that lives her.â€
Earlier this week, President Duda spoke out against what he referred to as the â€œdictatesâ€ of stronger EU countries, amid a push by the European Commission for member states to take quotas of refugees, mainly Syrians and Eritreans.
Poland agreed in July to take in 2,000 refugees. However, President of theÂ European Commission President Jean-Claude JunckerÂ called on EU member states to divide up 160,000 people in a policy of â€œsolidarityâ€.
It is estimated that there are between 3,000 and 5,000 Tatars living in Poland today. Owing to assimilation over the centuries, many Poles have Tatar backgrounds. The late Nobel Prize-winning author HenrykÂ SieÅ„kiewiczÂ had Tatar roots, as does internationally renowned sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz.
All in all, it is estimated that up to 25,000 Muslims currently live in Poland, including foreign students, diplomats, businessmen and refugees.