Ali al-Qaradaghi, secretary-general of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump -- who will be sworn in later today -- of the consequences of making "racist" and "anti-Muslim" remarks, which, he said, threatened to "polarize Americans".
If Trump adopts "anti-Muslim" policies, they will "backfıre on him", al-Qaradaghi asserted, recalling the fate of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Speaking via Twitter only hours before Trump’s inauguration, al-Qaradaghi said Trump not only antagonized Muslims but also aggravated sensitive issues in American society, thereby sowing distrust among Washington’s traditional allies.
"Racist propaganda against so-called ‘Islamic extremism’ may have helped him reach power, but it will only serve to polarize Americans later," he said.
"Playing on the public’s emotions and reviving racial prejudices will lead to destruction," al-Qaradaghi added.
Trump will take over the U.S. presidency from predecessor Barack Obama on Friday afternoon after taking the presidential oath of office.
During his election campaign, Trump employed a confrontational discourse -- especially vis-à-vis Muslims -- that drew criticism both at home and abroad.