January 27, 2017 4:48 pm
Updated: January 27, 2017 4:54 pm

Populism is breeding racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: UN chief

UN Secretary-General designate Antonio Guterres speaks during his swearing-in ceremony at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016.

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the rise of populism has triggered an increase in anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, anti-Muslim hatred and other forms of intolerance.

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The new UN chief told several hundred people at Friday’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust that “a ‘new normal’ of public discourse is taking hold, in which prejudice is given a free pass and the door is opened to even more extreme hatred.”

READ MORE: New UN chief Guterres has to contend with hostile Trump administration

Guterres warned that “hate speech and anti-Semitic imagery are proliferating across the Internet and social media.” He called the stereotyping of Muslims “deeply troubling.” And he expressed concern at the discrimination faced by minorities, refugees and migrants across the world.

Guterres said the UN must strengthen its human rights operation, push for justice for perpetrators of grave crimes, and invest in education and youth.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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