World reacts to Donald Trump's anti-Muslim tweets

  • 30/11/2017
The Netherlands Embassy in the\ US has debunked one of the videos Mr Trump retweeted.
The Netherlands Embassy in the\ US has debunked one of the videos Mr Trump retweeted. Photo credit: Getty

Britain criticised US President Donald Trump after he retweeted anti-Islam videos originally posted by a leader of a far-right British fringe party who was convicted earlier this month of abusing a Muslim woman.

The White House defended Mr Trump's retweeting of the videos, as criticism poured in from US-based Muslim advocacy groups and the Anti-Defamation League.

Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the anti-immigration Britain First group, posted the videos which she said showed a group of people who were Muslims beating a teenage boy to death, battering a boy on crutches and destroying a Christian statue.

Mr Trump's decision to retweet the videos prompted criticism from both sides of the Atlantic, with some British lawmakers demanding an apology and US Muslim groups saying it was incendiary and reckless.

"It is wrong for the president to have done this," the spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said.

"Britain First seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions. They cause anxiety to law-abiding people."

The Muslim Council of Britain issued a statement that called the tweets "The clearest endorsement yet from the US President of the far-right and their vile anti-Muslim propaganda," and called on Prime Minister May to condemn the comments and distance the UK from Mr Trump.

The Netherlands Embassy in the United States has debunked one of the videos. The caption that Mr Trump shared reads "Muslim migrant beats up dutch boy on crutches!"

However the Embassy responded that he is not a Muslim migrant.

"Facts do matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands. He received and completed his sentence under Dutch law," it said on Twitter.

US senator Bernie Sanders said the President's tweets reach "a new low".

"The goal of these videos is clear: to promote fear and hatred of Muslims and to incite hostility toward a minority group," he said in a statement.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said "Britain First is a vile, hate-fuelled organisation whose views should be condemned, not amplified."

Ms Fransen said the videos had come from various online sources which had been posted on her social media pages.

"I'm delighted," Ms Fransen, who has 53,000 Twitter followers, told Reuters, saying it showed the US president shared her aim of raising awareness of "issues such as Islam".

"Look, I'm not talking about the nature of the video," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. "The threat is real and that's what the president is talking about is the need for national security, the need for military spending, and those are very real things. There's nothing fake about that."

David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, praised Trump. "He's condemned for showing us what the fake news media won't," Duke wrote on Twitter. "Thank God for Trump! That's why we love him!"

Reuters/ Newshub. 

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