GENEVA, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – The spread of the Islamic State jihadist group (IS, also known as ISIL) ideology could lead to a genocide in the Middle East, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told a news briefing in Geneva Thursday.
“ISIL is the antithesis of human rights. It kills, it tortures, it rapes, its idea of justice is to commit murder. It spares no one – not women, not children, nor the elderly, the sick or the wounded… No religion is safe, no ethnic group. It is a diabolical, potentially genocidal movement,” the UN human rights chief said.
“The way it [IS] has spread its tentacles into other countries, employing social media and the internet to brainwash and recruit people from across the globe, reveals it to be the product of a perverse and lethal marriage of a new form of nihilism with the digital age,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein added.
The UN representative compared the IS with the Ebola virus, saying that the world community has not noticed the emergence of these two threats that turned into major global challenges during past months.
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the extremist group expanded its attacks to northern and western Iraq and declared an Islamic caliphate on the territories that had fallen under its control, forcing thousands members of religious minorities to flee.
The US State Department estimates that some 12,000 foreigners from more than 50 countries are fighting alongside IS militants in the Middle East, being drawn by effective propaganda, aimed at targeting young people.
A US-led coalition is currently carrying out airstrikes against the IS targets in Syria and Iraq. The coalition is comprised of more than 60 countries, according to the State Department.