If Donald Trump really did re-tweet those three Britain First videos, I am utterly appalled.
He apparently shared three posts by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain first. The posts included unverified videos titled “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!”
Did Trump blindly retweet the US journalist Ann Coulter, who retweeted this video yesterday and has one of the few Twitter accounts that Trump follows?
If so, this is beyond stupid, reckless and reprehensible. Trump has given an enormous boost to a group that should be treated as totally beyond the pale.
Britain First, which campaigns against the Islamisation of the UK, was founded in 2011 by former members of the neo-fascist British National Party. Earlier this month, Fransen was charged with using “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” during speeches she made in Belfast. She will appear at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 14 December.
Behind Trump’s tweets lie two essential points that many Americans fail to grasp. First, while Islamist extremism is a legitimate cause for concern many Muslims have nothing to do with it and it is simply wrong to tar all Muslims with the same brush.
Second, although campaigning against Islamic extremism, intolerance and religious fascism is not just acceptable but necessary some groups which do so are totally unacceptable because they themselves promote extremism, intolerance or fascism. Britain First is squarely in that category.
It is just possible, as the Telegraph suggests, that Trump himself didn’t send out these tweets.
Even if it turns out, however, that one of his staff was responsible that’s no excuse. This represents the biggest foul-up so far arising from Trump’s pathological twitterhoea.
For three groups of people are now rejoicing: Britain First, Islamist activists and the enemies not only of Trump himself but his entire agenda. In other words, those who threaten further to undermine the west.
Despair doesn’t even begin to cut it.