Two senior United Nations (UN) officials said Monday they are "sickened by blatant manifestations of hatred and intolerance" by public figures and others, particularly against Muslims, in response to recent extremist attacks.
Adama Dieng, the special adviser on the prevention of genocide, and Jennifer Welsh, the special adviser on the responsibility to protect civilians, said any "advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence" is prohibited by international human rights law and laws in many countries.
In a joint statement, they denounced "the deliberate and dangerous spread of misinformation and the manipulation of people's fears and concerns for political gain".
Dieng and Welsh strongly condemned extremist attacks but underlined that linking such attacks to Muslims has resulted in discrimination and targeting.
They said calls by United States (US) political figures for Muslims to be banned from entering the US, to be registered in a national database or to be forced to carry identification that would highlight their religion are "unacceptable" and "an affront to our common humanity".
They did not specifically name any Americans, but Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has advocated all of these positions, creating a political firestorm that has galvanised his supporters in the Republican base while generating denunciations from the party establishment and all the leading Democratic candidates.