UN rights official accuses Donald Trump of spreading prejudice

UN rights official accuses Donald Trump of spreading prejudice
The UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has slammed right-wing populists across the Western world, accusing them of spreading prejudice and using fear tactics.
2 min read
06 September, 2016
Donald Trump and Nigel Farage are among those who use the fear tactic [Getty]

Donald Trump is spreading "humiliating racial and religious prejudice", the United Nations human rights chief warned on Monday, noting the US Republican presidential candidate is aiding the rise of populist politics that could turn violent.

Controversial figures like Donald trump in the US, Nigel Farage in the UK, Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen in France are "populists, demagogues and political fantasists that use "fear" tactics similar to those used by the Islamic State group to make political gains, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said at a security and justice conference.

"Make no mistake, I certainly do not equate the actions of nationalist demagogues with those of Daesh," he said.

"But in its mode of communication, its use of half-truths and oversimplification, the propaganda of Daesh uses tactics similar to those of the populists."

"History has perhaps taught Mr. Wilders and his ilk how effectively xenophobia and bigotry can be weaponised," he said. "The atmosphere will become thick with hate; at this point it can descend rapidly into colossal violence," he warned.

The UN human rights commissioner went further, describing Wilders' election pledge to ban Muslim immigrants and the Quran as "grotesque".

Wilders, who - like his US counterpart, Donald Trump - is leading opinion polls ahead of March 2016 parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, has vowed to deny Muslim immigrants from crossing the border, shutting down existing mosques and banning the religion's holy book.