Leaders of the United Kingdom are infuriated over President Donald Trump’s retweets of anti-Islamic propaganda, calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to rescind her invitation to the president for a state visit.
On Wednesday, Trump retweeted to his more than 43 million followers three anti-Islamic videos posted by Jayda Fransen, a far-right British politician. The videos, which showed dramatic, violent crimes allegedly perpetrated by Muslims, instantly sparked a backlash against Trump for repeating a message of hate.
“It beggars belief that the president of our closest ally doesn’t see that his support of this extremist group actively undermines the values of tolerance and diversity that makes Britain so great,” London mayor Sadiq Khan said on Twitter. “After this latest incident, it is increasingly clear that any official visit at all from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed.”
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May, who is on an overseas trip, also denounced the president’s promotion of the tweets from the leader of Britain First, a far-right political party that claims to be fighting against “the Islamification of the U.K.”
“British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far-right, which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents – decency, tolerance and respect,” the spokesperson added. “It is wrong for the president to have done this.”
May’s representative made clear, though, that Trump is still welcome for a state visit, despite calls from members of Parliament to revoke his invitation. Meanwhile, Trump responded to the prime minister’s condemnation Wednesday night on Twitter.
“.@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom,” the U.S. president tweeted. “We are doing just fine!”
.@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2017
Brendan Cox – whose wife, member of Parliament Jo Cox, was murdered in June 2016 by a far-right extremist who shouted “Britain first” before the attack – slammed Trump on Thursday, calling on the president to address the problems in his own country.
“You have a mass shooting every single day in your country, your murder rate is many times that of the UK, your healthcare system is a disgrace, you can’t pass anything through a congress that you control. I would focus on that,” Cox tweeted.
You have a mass shooting every single day in your country, your murder rate is many times that of the UK, your healthcare system is a disgrace, you can’t pass anything through a congress that you control. I would focus on that. https://t.co/SNcqOZGvLQ
— Brendan Cox (@MrBrendanCox) November 30, 2017