Obama Warns Europe About Political Intolerance Blaming Immigrants, Muslims

Monday in Hannover, Germany, President Barack Obama said in both Europe and the United States the recent economic difficulties of stagnate wages has left an opening for “a creeping emergence” of the kind of politics that could blame “immigrants or Muslims.”

Obama said, “Wages have stagnated in many advanced countries while other costs have gone up. Inequality has increased. And for many people, it’s harder than ever just to hold on. This is happening in Europe; we see some of these trends in the United States and across the advanced economies. And these concerns and anxieties are real. They are legitimate. They cannot be ignored, and they deserve solutions from those in power. Unfortunately, in the vacuum, if we do not solve these problems, you start seeing those who would try to exploit these fears and frustrations and channel them in a destructive way. A creeping emergence of the kind of politics that the European project was founded to reject — an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality that tries to blame our problems on the other, somebody who doesn’t look like us or doesn’t pray like us — whether it’s immigrants, or Muslims, or somebody who is deemed different than us. And you see increasing intolerance in our politics. And loud voices get the most attention.”

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