December 10, 2015 / 11:31 AM / 4 years ago

Gulf leaders decry 'racist' rhetoric against Muslims

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop in Spencer, Iowa December 5, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

DUBAI (Reuters) - Gulf Arab leaders condemned “hostile, racist” remarks against Muslims and Syrian refugees on Thursday, days after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for a ban Muslims entering the United States.

“The supreme council expressed its deep concern at the increase of hostile, racist and inhumane rhetoric against refugees in general and Muslims in particular,” the Gulf Cooperation Council said, referring to a GCC heads of state meeting in Riyadh.

It called for “providing the necessary protection for the displaced and refugees who are fleeing the twin fires of unjust rule and terrorist groups.”

Republican frontrunner Trump called on Monday for the ban on Muslims, the most dramatic response yet by any candidate to last week’s shooting spree by two Muslims who the FBI said had been radicalised.

The United Nations refugee agency said such rhetoric was harming its resettlement programme. The International Organization for Migration responded to Trump’s comments by saying any discrimination based on religion went against all international accords on dealing with refugees.

Reporting By Noah Browning, editing by Sami Aboudi, Larry King

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