MILLIONS OF people around the globe were shocked to see US President Donald Trump re-tweeting Islamophobic videos this morning. The short videos were initially promoted by Jayda Fransen, Deputy Leader of the extreme right Britain First group, to its own small audience – but Trump has now broadcast them to his 43.6 million followers.
Ms Fransen’s Twitter account tells her 56,000 followers that she is “Faithful to God and Britannia” – by the latter of which she means the UK, not the Building Society. Her posts are full of Islamophobic ranting – Trump could have re-tweeted far more.
What Trump did post shows scenes which are purported to be a Muslim migrant attacking a boy on crutches, an “Islamist mob” attacking a teenage boy and a Muslim destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary (whom Christians venerate as the mother of Jesus). He overlooked such gems as “Girl owned after telling group of veterans they’re ‘imperialist ass holes’ at flag burning protest” and “The Media was the Jews’ First Weapon against Isam”.
Nonetheless, Ms Fransen was delighted at what Trump did cover – re-tweeting coverage of Trump’s re-tweets. This will probably have cheered her up as she looks forward to 14th December – when she is due to appear in Court in Belfast to answer charges of using “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” during various public appearances in the city.
Trump is no stranger to causing controversy with an ill-judged tweet, or by publicly supporting the far right. He was condemned for his comments over the summer, when a woman was killed as she demonstrated against an unlawful public rally of the far right in Charlottesville: he claimed there was fault on “both sides” and refused to condemn the white supremacists.
Trump’s tweets have been condemned as insenstive by Brendan Cox, widower of the late Jo Cox MP, who represented Batley and Spen. Ms Cox died after being attacked by a man who shouted “Britain First!” as he shot and stabbed her.
Tracey Brabin, who was elected as Batley & Spen’s MP after Ms Cox’s murder, pointed out that tweets such as those put out by Donald Trump “have consequences”. She added that Trump, who is scheduled to make an official visit to the UK, is not welcome here.