- Donald Trump has retweeted anti-Muslim hate videos posted by a leader of a far-right extremist British organisation on Twitter.
- Some British lawmakers are now calling for for his planned visit to the United Kingdom to be cancelled.
- Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi wrote to Trump asking him to delete his retweets and visit British Muslim communities.
A Conservative MP has written to Donald Trump asking him to delete his retweets of extremist anti-Muslim videos and to visit British Muslim communities when he visits the UK.
Nadhim Zahawi, the Iraqi-born member of parliament for Stratford-on-Avon, wrote in a letter published on Twitter: “The videos you have chosen to distribute to your 43.6 million Twitter followers seek to conflate all Muslims into one skewed and twisted stereotype in the hope of inciting religious hatred toward the Islamic community.” (You can read the full letter below.)
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump sparked widespread outrage in Britain and elsewhere when he retweeted three anti-Muslim videos on Twitter by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of far-right group Britain First.
The three videos had names like “VIDEO: Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!” and “VIDEO: Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!”
Fransen has previously been found guilty of religiously aggravating harassment after shouting at a Muslim woman wearing a hijab, and has been charged with inciting religious hatred.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who has reluctant to criticise the American president, condemned him over the tweets, with her spokesperson saying “it is wrong for the president to have done this.”
Trump is planning to visit the United Kingdom, and that visit will still go ahead – though it will reportedly be downgraded from an official “state visit.” But some British politicians are calling for it to be cancelled altogether.
Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy wrote on Twitter: “The President of the United States is promoting a fascist, racist, extremist hate group whose leaders have been arrested and convicted. He is no ally or friend of ours. @realDonaldTrump you are not welcome in my country and my city.
Zahawi, who has previously said he is banned from the US under Trump’s travel ban, doesn’t call for Trump’s visit to be cancelled – but in his letter, asks that the US president reconsider his actions and visit British Muslim communities.
“You are soon due to visit the United Kingdom. When you are here, I believe you would find enlightening the experience of visiting our beautiful cities like Coventry, Birmingham, Manchester and London,” he wrote. “In them, you would see how our Muslim communities live peaceably alongside others, enrich their local areas and contribute so much to society.”
He ended with a call for Trump to delete the tweets: “I know you take your role as president very seriously. I therefore urge you to delete the retweets and do all you can in future to resist courses of action that play into the hands of those who seek to destroy us and our way of life.”
Here’s Nadhim Zahawi’s full letter:
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