Just when you thought Donald Trump couldn’t get any worse, any viler or any more toxic, the President of the United States retweets a fascist’s anti-Muslim video to his 43.5 million followers. The president retweeted not one, but three anti-Muslim videos posted by the deputy leader of the UK fascist party, Britain First, Jayda Fransen.
It is important to note that the videos, purporting to show a Muslim beating a boy on crutches, another Muslim destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary and an “Islamist mob” pushing a teenage boy off a roof and beating him “to death” have not been verified by any reputable organization. The only vaguely plausible video is of the breaking of the Virgin Mary statue — the others could be depicting, well anything. Here are the tweets (WARNING: some may find these distressing):
As the Guardian noted, the videos posted by Fransen were not sequentially posted, “meaning that Trump would have had to scroll through her timeline before picking out which videos to retweet.” That means Trump was completely aware of who he was endorsing. Fransen’s twitter timeline has a pinned video tweet of her leading an anti-Muslim march in England carrying a Christian cross.
The outrageous attempt to foment anti-Muslim sentiment has been rightly condemned by British Prime Minister Theresa May. Downing Street issued the following statement:
Britain First seeks to divide communities by their use of hateful narratives that peddle lies and stoke tensions. They cause anxiety to law-abiding people.
British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right which is the antithesis of the values this country represents, decency, tolerance and respect. It is wrong for the president to have done this.
While a condemnation directly from Downing Street is a serious affair, particularly given the US and UK’s special relationship, it does not go nearly far enough. Spreading anti-Muslim propaganda and endorsing a prominent fascist is not just unacceptable, it is an affront to Muslims, the British public, and those who fought to defeat fascism during World War II. A generation of Brits and Americans fought to keep monsters like Jayda Fransen at bay, and Trump’s endorsement of her vile politics is a direct slap in the face to America’s greatest political ally. The British government must now rescind their offer to host the US president in early 2018 unless Trump apologizes for the tweet.
Of course this isn’t going to happen — Trump apologizes for nothing, particularly not his tweets. So it is now down to the British government to do the right thing and show Trump that there are real world consequences for his abhorrent behavior.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.