Iran slams Islamophobic, xenophobic rhetoric

Iran slams Islamophobic, xenophobic rhetoric

Iran’s president says those who make anti-Muslims allegations under the pretext of fighting terrorism are themselves supporters of terrorism.

President Hassan Rouhani made remarks in an apparent reaction to Islamophobic and xenophobic rhetoric by US presidential hopeful Donald Trump. 

“Unfortunately, today, certain individuals across the world, under the pretext of combating terrorism, announce that Muslims should not be allowed into other countries and this is while these individuals are themselves among founders and supporters of terrorism,” President Rouhani said while addressing a cabinet session on Wednesday, Press TV reported.

He added that those aiding terrorist groups should be held accountable for the crimes committed by terrorists.

Trump, the leading candidate for Republican presidential nomination, on Monday called for barring Muslims from entering the US, the latest in a series of bigoted remarks about Muslims and non-European immigrants on his campaign trail.

Trump, whose campaign has been marked by controversy from the beginning, stood by his anti-Muslim proposal on Tuesday, saying it was a temporary move in response to last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that Trump’s proposal on barring Muslims from entry into the US “disqualifies” him from running for the presidency.

Trump’s anti-Islam comments also drew reaction from senior UN officials.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Farhan Haq said the UN chief slammed “any kind of rhetoric that relies on Islamophobia, xenophobia, (and) any other appeal to hate any groups.”

The UN human rights chief also called Trump's rhetoric "grossly irresponsible", warning that it could give extremist groups the excuse to target ordinary Muslims.

“It's grossly irresponsible, given what the aim of the extremists is, to play into their hands at the expense of those who themselves - the vast majority of ordinary Muslims - would be viewed as eligible targets by these extremist groups,” UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussei said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he completely disagrees with Trump’s stance, describing it as “divisive, unhelpful, and quite simply wrong."

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