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Trump’s Islamophobic Retweets Draw Criticism

LONDON – Leading British and American Muslim rights groups criticized American president Donald Trump for retweeting three anti-Muslim videos posted by far-right group Britain First on Wednesday morning,, seeing it as a clear endorsement of Islamophobia.

“This is the clearest endorsement yet from the US President of the far-right and their vile anti-Muslim propaganda. We cannot give such bigotry a free pass,” the Muslim Council of Britain said in a statement posted on Twitter.

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“We hope our Prime Minister and Home Secretary will distance the UK from Mr. Trump and his comments and will reiterate the government’s abhorrence to all forms of extremism.”

The MCB statement came after President Trump retweeted three posts from Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen.

All three of the tweets were anti-Islam and claimed to show attacks by Muslims.

The posts included unverified videos titled ‘Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!’ and ‘Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!’

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has also released a statement condemning Trump’s incitement to voilence against Muslims.

“By his unconscionable and irresponsible actions this morning, President Trump is clearly telling members of his base that they should hate Islam and Muslims,” CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement sent to AboutIslam.net.

“These are actions one would expect to see on virulent anti-Muslim hate sites, not on the Twitter feed of the president of the United States. Trump’s posts amount to incitement to violence against American Muslims. His actions should be condemned by all American political and religious leaders, regardless of their party or faith.”

Awad also tweeted in response to Trump’s hate posts: “Have you no sense of decency, Sir? Do you know how many anti-Muslims incidents in the US we recorded at #CAIR this year alone? 3,296. And we haven’t heard a peep from you. Some president.”

Fransen, 31, is a high-profile member of the far-right UK group Britain First and is on bail after being charged with religiously aggravated harassment in September.

She will also appear in court in Northern Ireland next month, having been charged with using threatening and abusive language in connection with a speech she made at an anti-terrorism demonstration in Belfast on 6 August.

Last year, MPs called for proscribing Britain First as a terrorist organization after the murder of MP Jo Cox, who was killed by a right-wing extremist shouting “Britain first!”

Cox’s widower Brendan said Trump “should be ashamed of himself” for retweeting the Britain First videos.

He tweeted: “Trump has legitimized the far-right in his own country, now he’s trying to do it in ours.”

Labour MP David Lammy said the US President had “gone beyond the pale,” adding that he was “promoting a fascist, racist, extremist hate group whose leaders have been arrested and convicted.”

Former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna described the retweets as “quite shocking.”

“Words do not do justice to this, he is normalizing hatred,” he told Sky News.

“I think that takes us down a very dangerous road and you have got to call it out.”