Ban: Here’s Looking at You, Geert Wilders

Do you think Ban had you-know-who in mind when he took on the thorny issue of growing anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe?  From his address to the European parliament today:

For Europe, “winning the peace” was the narrative of the last century. The 21st century European challenge is tolerance within.

Inclusion, building diverse communities, is as complex a task as the one Europe faced after the Second World War. None of this is easy.  Migrants suffer disproportionately, whether from within Europe or beyond. Unemployment. Discrimination. Unequal opportunities in schools and the workplace.

And a dangerous trend is emerging.  A new politics of polarization.  Some play on people’s fears. They seek to invoke liberal values for illiberal causes.   They accuse immigrants of violating European values.  Yet too often, it is the accusers who subvert these values – and thus the very idea of what it means to be a citizen of the European Union. [Emphasis mine]

Europe’s darkest chapters have been written in language such as this.  Today, the primary targets are immigrants of the Muslim faith.  Europe cannot afford stereotyping that closes minds and breeds hatred. And the world cannot afford a Europe that does this.