Czech president bemoans Islamic veil for covering up beauty

Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman waits to address the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York on September 29, 2015 (AFP Photo/Jewel Samad)

Prague (AFP) - Czech President Milos Zeman on Friday again lashed out at migrants from the Middle East and Africa, skewering the full Islamic veil for covering up female beauty.

"We'll be deprived of women's beauty, because they'll be covered from head to toe," Zeman said in a chat with employees of a butcher's shop in the eastern village of Lechotice.

"This would obviously be an advantage for some women, but they're few and far between," the 71-year-old added, quoted by local media.

The outspoken leftwinger is known for his controversial remarks. He once called members of the Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot "bitches" and said the government had "fucked up" a bill in a radio interview littered with expletives.

Lately he has been saving his wrath for the migrants streaming into the European Union to flee conflict and poverty in countries such as Syria and Afghanistan.

"No one invited you here... You must respect our rules," Zeman said in August after dozens of migrants tried to flee a detention centre.

On Friday he claimed migrants would "respect sharia (Islamic law) instead of Czech laws", saying "unfaithful women will be stoned and thieves will have their hands cut off."

Czech police said Friday it had intercepted 7,201 migrants in the first nine months of this year, more than double the number during the same period in 2014.

So far this year 1,115 people have requested asylum in the Central European country, according to the interior ministry.