UNITED NATIONS, Jun 18 (APP): A senior United Nations human rights advisor has condemned Sunday’s attack at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people were killed and 53 injured, and expressed grave concern at the outpouring of hatred, homophobia and Islamophobia that followed the incident, which targeted the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
“At a time when there was greatest need for sympathy and solidarity, I was appalled by the immediate and shameful efforts of some political and religious leaders to manipulate and politicise the events in Orlando to fuel fear, intolerance and hatred,” Adama Dieng, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide.
“I was particularly sickened to hear religious leaders commend the killings of members of the LGBT community,” he added, referring to statements by some religious leaders, including one who labelled the victims as “disgusting perverts and paedophiles” and calling on governments worldwide to execute LGBT people.
Dieng also criticized calls by some politicians to cite radical Islam as the cause of the attack in Orlando, to ban Muslims from the United States and to label all Muslims as terrorists.
“Religious and sexual minorities are subjected to discrimination, human rights violations and violence worldwide, including in peaceful and democratic societies,” Dieng stated.
“It is simply unacceptable that influential leaders, including political and religious leaders, spread the kind of dangerous homophobic and islamophobic messages that we have seen in public discourse and the media this week.”
He reminded political and religious leaders that any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence is prohibited under international human rights law as well as by the legislations of many countries.