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Ban warns against European intolerance of Muslims
October 19, 2010 19:32
UN chief: "Europe cannot afford stereotyping that closes minds and breeds hatred, and the world cannot afford a Europe that does this."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to media

Ban Ki-moon speaking 311 AP. (photo credit:Associated Press)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned against a "dangerous trend" of intolerance toward Muslim immigrants in Europe on Tuesday, DPA reported.

"A dangerous trend is emerging, a new politics of polarization. Some play on people's fears," Ban said at a meeting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. "They accuse immigrants of violating European values," he added.

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

Ban's comments followed statements made by German President Christian Wulff earlier on Tuesday, in which he said Turks living in Germany must learn to speak German.

"We cannot close our eyes to the fact that immigration to Germany has brought with it a number of problems. The basis for a solution to many of the problems is tied to learning German," said Wulff.

On Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed similar sentiments, saying that Germany's attempts at multiculturalism had failed.

She stated that too little had been required of immigrants in Germany, and that they should learn German so they can better succeed in school and in the labor market.

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