Lord Carey
The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has questioned how many refugees are in fact "economic migrants" Reuters

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has called on Britain to "crush" Middle East militia Islamic State. In a column for the Daily Telegraph, Carey insisted that there must be renewed "military and diplomatic" efforts to defeat the terrorist group.

In yesterday's Telegraph (5 September) Carey called for Britain to rescue Syrian Christians and said that it was "not enough" to send aid to refugee camps in the Middle East. He also said that there must be a concerted effort to "crush the twin menaces of Isis and al Qaeda once and for all".

Carey said that the "dramatic and disturbing" images of migrants fleeing the war-torn countries of Syria and Iraq had "introduced a new, heart-rending dimension to this refugee crisis". However, he also suggested that terrorists may be hiding amongst refugees, stating that a large number of those travelling were "economic migrants" who were mostly "young men travelling alone". He added, "We don't even know how many of these have been combatants in the civil war."

Warning of the EU member countries' reaction to the crisis Carey continued: "If the EU is not resilient in the face of this disaster, it could be torn apart." According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) 249,650 refugees and migrants have entered the EU between January and end of July this year.

Challenging German Chancellor Angela Merkel who he said had attempted to "cajole" other European leaders to accept "binding quotas" on refugee settlement numbers, Carey continued: "Isn't it a bit rich for the Germans to criticise other nations, including Britain, for failing to accept refugees? For years, our warm-hearted land has consistently accepted more asylum seekers than Germany."

Despite figures from the IOM that uncovered that 2,349 refugees had died in the first half of the year, many drowning during the treacherous sea route across the Mediterranean to Greece and Italy, Carey insisted that Britain was a "small island" and that the recent immigration figures were "highly disturbing". "Imagine this continuing, year after year?" he asked.

The retired Anglican bishop served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1999-2002 when the Church of England ordained its first female priests.