West's far-right, DAESH have same ideology, says UN chief
The HagueSep 07, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Sep 07, 2016 12:00 am
The United Nations human rights chief launched a scathing attack on populist politicians like Donald Trump and Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders saying that the far-right politicians has the same ideology with DAESH.
Speaking in The Hague, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the methods of communication used by DAESH were "similar tactics to those of the populists", with both groups benefitting from the other to survive. "I do not equate the actions of nationalist demagogues with those of DAESH, which are monstrous and sickening," Zeid added. "We must pull back from this trajectory," Zeid warned, adding that there was a risk "the atmosphere will become thick with hate" which could "descend rapidly into colossal violence." He also stated that he was a Muslim whose role was "to defend and promote the human rights of each individual, everywhere." Urging people to speak out and "draw the line", he asked "are we going to continue to stand by and watch this banalization of bigotry?"
Reacting to Zeid's speech, Wilders in a text message to AFP retorted that the Jordanian prince was "an utter fool." "Another good reason to get rid of the U.N.," said the populist politician known for his peroxide bouffant hairdo, calling again for the world to "de-Islamize". "Islam and freedom are incompatible whatever this Jordanian bureaucrat says," Wilders said.
Last month, Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) launched its campaign platform ahead of March elections vowing to "close mosques, Islamic schools and ban the Koran" if elected. The PVV, which has been leading in opinion polls, also vowed to reverse the "Islamization" of the Netherlands by closing the borders, shutting asylum seeker centers, banning migrants from Muslim countries and stopping Muslim women from wearing the headscarf.
Zeid slammed the PVV's proposals and said Wilders had much in common with U.S. Republican presidential candidte Trump, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, France's leader of the National Front Marine Le Pen, and leading Brexit campaigner and the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage.
"All seek in varying degrees to recover a past, halcyon and so pure in form, where sunlit fields are settled by peoples united by ethnicity or religion," Zeid told prominent members of the justice community here. "A past that most certainly, in reality, did not exist anywhere, ever." Promises to recover such a past were "fiction; its merchants are cheats. Clever cheats," he added, accusing populist leaders of using "half-truths and oversimplification" to feed the fears of "anxious" individuals.
About the author
Research Associate at Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University