In comments at a security and justice conference on Monday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said he was addressing Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders and other "populists, demagogues and political fantasists," warning that a rise of populist politics could turn violent.
"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," he warned.
Zein called Wilders' election pledge to ban Muslim immigrants and the Quran form the country "grotesque".
Naming Trump, Nigel Farage in Britain and Marine Le Pen in France, among others, he also accused them of using "fear" tactics similar to those of Daesh.
"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."
The United Nations human rights chief also said that U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was spreading "humiliating racial and religious prejudice".
Wilders is leading opinion polls ahead of March 2016 parliamentary elections in the Netherlands. Among his key campaign pledges are to close the country's border to Muslim immigrants, shut down mosques and ban the Quran. He also wants to leave the European Union.
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