UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein (file photo)
The United Nations human rights chief has accused US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump of spreading racial and religious prejudice, saying the real estate mogul used “fear” tactics similar to the ones employed by the Daesh (ISIL) Takfiri terrorists.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein made the comments on Monday, as he took the stage during a security and justice conference.
He blasted “populists, demagogues and political fantasists” like Trump, former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage and Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders for their Daesh-like fear tactics and populist policies.
“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.”
Zeid denounced as “grotesque” the election pledges by various candidates to inflict various bans on Muslims around the world.
Trump has faced heavy backlash for proposing that all 3.3 million American Muslims should be registered in a national database for security reasons.
He has also said that the US would have "absolutely no choice" but to close down mosques.
Wilders, who is leading opinion polls ahead of the Netherlands’ March 2016 parliamentary elections, has made similar vows to close the country's border to Muslim immigrants, shutter mosques and ban the Muslim holy book Qur’an.
"History has perhaps taught Mr. Wilders and his ilk how effectively xenophobia and bigotry can be weaponized," he said.
"The atmosphere will become thick with hate; at this point it can descend rapidly into colossal violence," Zeid warned.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (R) invites United Kingdom Independence Party leader Nigel Farage to speak during a campaign rally at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, Mississippi, August 24, 2016. (AFP photo)
Just like Trump and Wilders, Farage is also accused of resorting to populist policies for political gains, especially in persuading Britons to vote Leave in a referendum on the future of Britain’s membership in the European Union (EU).
He joined Trump at one of his rallies in Jackson, Mississippi, in late August, to update thousands of the billionaire’s supporters on Brexit.
The British politician, who resigned after the historic June 23 vote,  tried to cheer up the real estate mogul’s campaign amid his big drop in polls, saying that the anti-EU campaigners in the UK won the vote despite a poor polling performance.
“Actually they [the polls] were all wrong,” Farage said. “Remember, anything is possible if enough decent people are prepared to stand up against the establishment,” he said.