Tuesday, 12 December 2017

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Donald Trump slammed for ‘spreading hatred’ after tweeting anti-Muslim videos

By AP and staff writers, For news.com.au, On 04 December 2017, Read Original

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DUTCH officials have said that an divisive tweet reposted by Donald Trump which claimed to show a “Muslim migrant beating up a Dutch boy on crutches’ is not true.

Mr Trump posted a video originally shared by Britain First’s deputy leader which claimed to show a Muslim migrant. But the Dutch prosecutions service says the man shown was arrested and was born and raised in the Netherlands.

The first video retweeted by Mr Trump showed two young men fighting, above which Ms Fransen wrote: “Video: Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches.”

Officials said the perpetrator was not Muslim, nor an immigrant.

“The public prosecution service Noord-Holland has studied the file submitted by the police,” a spokesman for the Dutch public prosecution service told the Press Association.

“The suspect, who was born and raised in the Netherlands, received a HALT settlement.

This has been successfully completed.”

It comes as British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said the US president “was wrong” to share anti-Muslim videos tweeted by a UK far-right leader.

Mr Trump retweeted three videos to his 43 million followers posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First. Fransen has been convicted of a hate crime in Britain and currently faces more charges.

 
 

Ms May’s spokesman, James Slack, said Britain First seeks to divide communities through its use of “hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions.”

He said “it is wrong for the president to have done this.” But Ms May’s office said an invitation for Mr Trump to pay a state visit to Britain was not being withdrawn. Opposition politicians are calling for the visit to be cancelled after the far-right retweets.

The husband of Jo Cox, the British Parliament member who was murdered last year by a man yelling “Britain first”, Fransen’s party’s name, last year said Mr Trump should be ashamed of himself.

“Trump has legitimised the far right in his own country, now he’s trying to do it in ours,” Brendan Cox wrote on Twitter.

“Spreading hatred has consequences & the President should be ashamed of himself.”

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Mr Trump’s tweets, saying he wants to “promote strong borders and strong national security.”

Ms Sanders said in a White House press briefing overnight that she was not sure how Mr Trump found the videos, which he retweeted from the leader of an extreme far-right British group. Asked if the president had a responsibility to verify the content, Ms Sanders said: “Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about.” She says she had not discussed with the president how it could impact his relationship with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations also condemned Mr Trump for retweeting the inflammatory videos, which purport to show violence being committed by Muslims and could fuel anti-Islam sentiments.

The group’s executive director, Nihad Awad, said in a statement that Mr Trump is “clearly telling members of his base that they should hate Islam and Muslims.”

Awad says Mr Trump’s posts “amount to incitement to violence against American Muslims” and is calling on political and religious leaders to condemn Mr Trump’s tweets.

Awad says that on Twitter, the council has recorded 3,296 anti-Muslim incidents this year.

He says “we haven’t heard a peep from you. Some president.”

The videos were first posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First who has been charged with “religious aggravated harassment.”

The descriptions read: “VIDEO: Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!” and “VIDEO: Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “VIDEO: Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!”

After Mr Trump retweeted the videos, Ms Fransen quickly responded on Twitter, saying: “DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF HAS RETWEETED THESE VIDEOS AND HAS AROUND 44 MILLION FOLLOWERS! GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP! GOD BLESS AMERICA!”

Following Trump’s tweets, British politician Chuka Umunna called for the US President’S invite to visit the United Kingdom in 2018 to be withdrawn.

“I don’t think the president of the United States, a president that has not only promoted bigotry, misogyny and racism in his own country, I don’t think he is welcome here,” he told Sky News.

“I think the invite that has been made to him to come to our country in early 2018 should be withdrawn.

“Somebody in his position, doing what he has done and said, not only in his own country but now getting involved in the debate here, he is normalising hatred,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Trump also implied that US television host Joe Scarborough — one of his fiercest critics — was somehow involved in the death of a MSNBC intern in 2001.

Tweeting about the firing of US TV host Matt Lauer over sexual harassment allegations, he segued: “Will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the ‘unsolved mystery’ that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!”

The “unsolved mystery” Mr Trump is referring to is the death of Lori Klausutis, 28, an intern who was found dead in Scarborough’s Florida office in 2001 when he was still a Republican congressman.

To be clear, there is no mystery in her death.

The medical examiner concluded that Ms Klausutis “lost consciousness because of an abnormal heart rhythm and fell, hitting her head on a desk”.

“The head injury caused the death,” he said a month after she was found.

There is no evidence of foul play, but the tragedy has been spun into a conspiracy theory, which has now been repeated by the President of the United States.