The Copenhagen Criteria used to be the first thing that came to mind when the EU was mentioned. The EU was an exemplary structure, a worldwide standard that used to be a stronghold of human rights and the fight against racism.
The EU was a beacon of hope for other countries by way of its principles and the criterion-based standards it set for freedom of expression and freedom of religion.
Then what happened to the EU?
What used to be known as the most reliable institution in the world in the fight against racism has since become a union with racism at the top of its agenda.
The latest referendum held in Hungary on Sunday could very well have been seen in countries such as the Republic of South Africa and Rhodesia when they were ruled by racist white leaders.
In fact, if a referendum in those countries had been made, with implications that leaders did not want any more black people in their countries, the EU would have undoubtedly gone on the offensive.
If the racist white in the Republic of South Africa or Rhodesia had made a referendum hinting that they did not want any more black people in their country, the EU would have gone on the rampage. The Europe-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are active in the fight against racism would have organized demonstrations to protest such a controversial referendum.
But what we are seeing now is a referendum fueled by aims to exclude Muslims, which, although not explicitly articulated, has gathered no response from the EU. Comparatively, in the past when controversial politician Jörg Haider won the elections in Austria, large-scale protests were organized all across Europe. Nowadays, such responses have been replaced by complete silence.
Hungary is required to accept only 1,294 refugees as part of the EU's plan to disperse 160,000 refugees among the EU countries. The referendum asks, "Do you want to allow the EU to mandate the resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens to Hungary without the approval of the National Assembly?" This question is not only a display of racism but also a blatant disregard for the values and norms of the EU.
Hungary, which once revolted against Stalin's Soviet Russia, is now seemingly pursuing Stalinist policies with this referendum.
Unfortunately, Hungary is not the only country where the threat of racism has reached an alarming level. Racist persons in Germany for example, who consistently win political elections using racist slogans and controversial discourse aimed against Muslim refugees, are on the cusp of further success in next year's parliamentary elections. Conservatives in France, on the other hand, are already employing their notorious scare tactics aimed at democrats and are projected to win next year's elections in that country. In Austria, where voters are showing support for a presidential candidate with controversial views on the refugee crisis who also wielded a gun while making anti-Muslim remarks, is another disgrace to democracy. Furthermore, in the Netherlands, controversial politicians are gaining ground in every election. The situation in England and Belgium is no different, either.
While the antagonistic remarks by leftists, moderates and green party politicians of the EU member states resemble a racist mudslinging contest against Muslims, Turks, the Republic and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rather than peaceful international discourse, we are witnessing the rising anti-Islamic sentiment, a dangerous racist trend playing out on the world stage.
In recent months, what European media outlets have said or published against Turks or President Erdoğan have essentially favored racist propaganda. Those who push this propaganda would not have predicted that Erdoğan's video speech which was planned as part of a rally in Cologne, Germany for Turkish Germans there to show their support for Turkey's fight for democracy on July 15 would be prohibited. What harm would have come from a 20-minute video conference given by the Turkish president? Such wrongful practices do not represent liberty or democracy but further encourage racists who are against Muslims, the Turkish people and the Turkish Republic.
Obnoxious remarks have been issued in parliament meetings across the EU, made by so-called left-wing politicians who sling racist slogans at Turkey and show blatant disregard for its democratically elected government.
Green party parliamentarians also help the EU achieve this "goal" by spreading lies as quickly as a tabloid headline like, "Turkish military opens fire on Syrian refugees on the border" or the leftist's remark which also reads like a shoddy news headline: "Turkish military bombs Kurds." Every fabricated lie or baseless claim made by left-wing politicians are an affirmation of Islamophobia which has risen to such levels that Muslims, particularly Turks living in Europe, are scared of Europeans and leftist politicians. Therefore, when racist politicians celebrate their post-election victories, European Muslims anxiously ponder what the leftists and green party politicians have done in recent years.
So, with regard to racism and ethnic conflicts, Muslims can rightfully ask what has happened to the EU.
This is not a promising picture. It is high time for the democrat politicians of EU countries to take a hard look at themselves and intervene in what could become a disastrous situation. The policies adopted only for the sake of standing against Turkey or Erdoğan do the greatest harm to the EU which is already suffering as it is losing the fight against racism, thus failing to protect democracy.