The United Nations human rights chief compared US President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric to the propaganda the terrorist group ISIS pushes out, condemning him and other right-wing “populists and demagogues” who have risen to power in the West.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein made his comments during a dinner hosted by the Peace, Justice and Security Foundation, according to The Telegraph. He called out Trump as well as Dutch nationalist Geert Wilders, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, and British former UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
“Make no mistake, I certainly do not equate the actions of nationalist demagogues with those of Daesh, which are monstrous, sickening; Daesh must be brought to justice. 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 reportedly said, using an alternative name for ISIS.
He continued: “Both sides of this equation benefit from each — indeed would not expand in influence without each others’ actions.”
Zeid described these leaders’ method of winning support: “Make people, already nervous, feel terrible, and then emphasise it’s all because of a group, lying within, foreign and menacing. Then make your target audience feel good by offering up what is a fantasy to them, but a horrendous injustice to others. Inflame and quench, repeat many times over, until anxiety has been hardened into hatred.”
Trump was often criticised during the campaign season for rhetoric that some called divisive. At one point, he advocated for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the US.
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