On Wednesday morning, Donald trump retweeted three inflammatory videos from Jayda Fransen the Deputy Leader of far right UK organisation Britain First.
The first video is called ‘Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!’ The video is from Dutch photo and video-hosting site Dumpert. Dutch newspaper De Telegrad reported that two arrests had been made by police. The two arrested were from Edam-Volendam and Monnickendam, in the north of The Netherlands. The Dutch Public Prosecution Service has confirmed that the person arrested for the attack was “born and raised in The Netherlands” and was not a migrant.
The second video is called ‘Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!’ The New York Time identifies the man as the extremist Islamist cleric Abo Omar Ghabra, speaking in the Idlib province of Syria in 2013. Ghabra was in the militant Islamist group Jabhet al-Nasra at the time. The wider Muslim population has long condemned the destruction of religious statues etc, the tweet lacks this context.
The third video is called ‘Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!’ The footage was taken on July 5 2013, during clashes in Alexandria, Egypt, between supporters of Morsi, who had recently been ousted as president, and his opponents. That information was missing from the tweet, as was any explanation of the complex political situation in Egypt at the time.
Reaction from the UK to Trump’s retweets
Theresa May, UK Prime Minister – A Downing Street spokesman said “British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents – decency, tolerance and respect. It is wrong for the president to have done this.”
Boris Johnson, UK Foreign Secretary tweeted “Britain First is a divisive, hateful group whose views are not in line with our values. UK has a proud history as an open, tolerant society & hate speech has no place here.”
Sajid Javed, Minister for Communities and Local Government tweeted “So POTUS has 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”
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of Labour / Leader of the Opposition tweeted “I hope our Government will condemn far-right retweets by Donald Trump. They are abhorrent, dangerous and a threat to our society.”
Archbishop of Caterbury said “I join the urgent call of faith groups and others for President Trump not just to remove these tweets, but to make clear his opposition to racism and hatred in all forms.”
Sadiq Khan, London Mayor said “It beggars belief that the president of our closest ally doesn’t see that his support of this extremist group actively undermines the values of tolerance and diversity that makes Britain so great. After this latest incident, it is increasingly clear that any official visit at all from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed.”
Piers Morgan, Host of Good Morning Britain witing on the MailOnline wrote “I urge you to immediately undo those three re-tweets, and apologize unreservedly. That won’t repair the terrible damage you’ve done. But it will at least acknowledge that you understand just how wrong it was. If you don’t, we will be left to assume that you too are a hateful Islamophobe and racist.”
Response from Donald Trump 2017/11/29
In response to Theresa May’s response, Trump tweeted at 1943 “Theresa @theresamay, 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!”
This tweet was sent in error to an individual called Theresa May Scrivener.
Trump then tweeted at 2002 “@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!”
Who are Britain First?
Britain First are a group founded in 2011 by former members of the far-right British National Party (BNP)
The group has nearly 2million likes on Facebook and appears on many other social networks.
Britain First was founded by Jim Dowson. Dowson’s links with the BNP as a fundraiser ended acrimoniously in October 2010 when he was accused of groping a female activist. Its current chairman, Paul Golding, had been a district councillor in Sevenoaks, Kent, in 2009–11 representing the BNP, as well as the BNP’s Communications Officer.
Who are the BNP?
The British National Party stands for the preservation of the national and ethnic character of the British people and is wholly opposed to any form of racial integration between British and non-European peoples. It is therefore committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration and to restoring, by legal changes, negotiation and consent, the overwhelmingly white make-up of the British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948.
In 2000, former leader of the BNP, Nick Griffin travelled to the US to address an organisation called the American Friends of the BNP. Members of the group included David Duke, at the time leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and James W Von Brunn, a white supremacist. During Griffin’s visit, he outlined his blueprint for making his party electable by dropping its lexicon of “racial purity” and Jewish conspiracies: “The BNP isn’t about selling out its ideas, but we are determined to sell them. Basically, that means to use saleable words such as freedom, identity, security, democracy.”
Who is Jayda Fransen?
Jayda Fransen, 31, was arrested in London by Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) detectives on Saturday November 18th.
She has been charged with using “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour”.
The charge relates to a speech made at a “Northern Ireland Against Terrorism” rally at Belfast City Hall in August.
Fransen will appear at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 14 December.