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Trump's Muslim ban 'grossly irresponsible': UN rights chief

'The danger of classification and characterisation is that it dehumanises, it can lead to the victimisation of the innocent'
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations, speaks at the Vital Voices Solidarity Awards on 7 December 2015 (AFP)
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The United Nations rights chief on Tuesday branded US Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump's comments on Muslims as "grossly irresponsible".

The billionaire American, who leads polls among Republican voters by double digits, has called for a ban on Muslims entering the country.

"The danger of classification and characterisation is that it dehumanises, it can lead to the victimisation of the innocent," said Zeid Raad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"It is grossly irresponsible, given the aim of these extremists, to play into their hands at the expense of the vast majority of ordinary Muslims." 

Trump made the provocative remarks - just his latest on a range of topics on the campaign trail - after last week's shooting that left 14 dead in California by a Muslim couple said to have been radicalised.

Muslims "are as much victimised by these groups as Christians or Jews or Hindus or Buddhists," Zeid said.

Such comments were "deeply worrisome," he added. "The US is a republic founded on the dignity and the rights of the individual."