Jayda Fransen is the Deputy Leader of an organization called “Britain First.” Here’s how that group is described in the first paragraph of its Wikipedia page:
Britain First is a far-right and ultranationalist British political organisation formed in 2011 by former members of the British National Party (BNP). It was founded by Jim Dowson, an anti-abortion campaigner linked to Ulster loyalist groups in Northern Ireland. The organisation’s leader is former BNP councillor Paul Golding, and its deputy leader is Jayda Fransen.
Britain First campaigns primarily against multiculturalism and what it sees as the Islamisation of the United Kingdom, and advocates the preservation of traditional British culture. It attracted attention by taking direct action such as protests outside homes of Islamic extremists, its “Christian patrols” and “invasions” of British mosques. It has been noted for its online activism.
So, they’re the racist right of the UK, and they save the overwhelming majority of their vitriol for Muslims. They wear political uniforms, even though that’s against the law in the UK, and most of their political action to date has been symbolic demonstrations against the broader religion of Islam and specific Muslim immigrants who have been accused of violent or sexual crimes. After the murder of the Labour politician Jo Cox, in which the killer was alleged to have shouted something like “Britain first!”, there’s even a movement to have the group classified a terrorist organization.
Fransen, their second-highest ranking member under leader Paul Holding, spends a lot of her time on Twitter as you’d expect—posting videos that demonize Muslims. She and Holding were actually charged with “religiously aggravated harassment” in May 2017 after distributing flyers related to a trial of three Muslim men. The case is pending.
There’s really no way to read Fransen’s Twitter account and not conclude that she’s actively trying to foment anti-Muslim hatred by highlighting any infraction Muslims commit—the more egregious and emotional, the better. Honestly, she’d probably agree with that characterization.
And that’s who Donald Trump retweeted this morning, three times.
Below, you’ll find the tweets he chose. WARNING: The first and third video below contain graphic depictions of violence, and the second contains destruction of Christian iconography. (Update: The first one, at least, is completely wrong.)
How else to read this beyond saying that Trump is obviously sympathetic to Britain First's message of Islamophobia? And that he's amplifying their message with the goal of demonizing Muslims in America?
Fransen, of course, loved it:
It's not just possible that Trump's retweets will open the door to anti-Muslim violence in the U.S.—it's likely. We already know that this particular kind of hate crime has increased under Trump, and these retweets are a signal that any aspiring criminal who intends to harm the Muslim community will be acting in the president's interests.
Simply put, it's one of the most disgusting acts yet of a truly disgusting presidency, and it's reasonable to guess that it will lead to the death of American citizens. We'll finish here with Jeremy Corbyn, who put it best: