MPs and key leaders speak out against Trump sharing far-right Islamophobic tweets
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Friday December 01 2017
British MPs have strongly criticised Donald Trump’s re-tweeting of far-right extremist posts, and some have called for the cancellation of his state visit to the UK, the BBC reports.
President Trump shared three Islamophobic videos posted by deputy leader of Britain First, Jayda Fransen, who was recently charged with using “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” during a “Northern Ireland Against Terrorism” rally in Belfast.
The three videos originally shared by Fransen portray Muslims as violent and aggressive. The videos claim to show a group of Muslims pushing a boy off a roof, a Muslim destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary, and a “Muslim migrant” attacking a Dutch boy on crutches. The third video was swiftly discredited by the Dutch embassy in Washington DC, which confirmed that the man in the video was in fact a Dutch-born individual who was prosecuted under Dutch law.
Fransen was convicted last year after she was found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment for hurling abuse at a Muslim woman wearing a hijab. She escaped a possible six-month prison sentence and was instead fined just over £1,900.
Fransen is now facing the court action in Northern Ireland over a speech she made at an anti-terrorism demonstration in the city on August 6. She was arrested by Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers on Saturday in Bromley, south east London, and taken to Belfast for questioning. She will appear at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on December 14.
Theresa May condemned Trump’s sharing of the far-right posts as “wrong” and stated that the UK government would “not tolerate any groups who spread hate by demonising those of other faiths or ethnicities”.
In response, Trump tweeted, “@Theresa_May don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”
A number of MPs and leading figures have denounced Trump’s decision to retweet Fransen’s racist and inflammatory posts. A Conservative MP commented that the world would be “a better place” if Theresa May could convince Trump to delete his Twitter account.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan repeated his call for Trump’s state visit to be cancelled.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said President Trump had “endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me and people like me… He is wrong and I refuse to let it go and say nothing.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby stated it was “deeply disturbing” that Trump had “chosen to amplify the voice of far-right extremists”.
Despite calls for President Trump’s invitation to the UK to be rescinded, Downing Street has said that the visit will go ahead.
Given the current status of the Brexit negotiations, May’s accommodating attitude towards Donal Trump is perhaps understandable, although little justifiable. Indeed, while thousands of mental health professionals have come forward to warn against the president’s psychological instability and the dangers it poses, his re-tweeting of a convicted far-right criminal is further evidence to his deeply troubled personality.
As commented by the editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President “We are currently witnessing more than his usual state of instability — in fact, a pattern of decompensation: increasing loss of touch with reality, marked signs of volatility and unpredictable behavior, and an attraction to violence as a means of coping.”
Meanwhile, Fransen is using Trump’s endorsement to avoid jail. In a recent video posted on Twitter, she said she is facing prison for “giving a speech in which I criticized Islam.
“This is evidence that Britain has become Sharia-compliant and our establishment have now instituted legislation that constitutes blasphemy laws here in the U.K.
“I am appealing for your intervention before I am thrown in jail and others receive the same treatment for simply speaking out”.