Despite complaints from U.K. officials about President Donald Trump’s decision this week to retweet the allegedly “anti-Muslim” video posts of a British anti-Islam activist, evidence suggests both Trump and the activist he retweeted have valid points about radical Islam’s presence in Europe — and especially the U.K.
However, UK Prime Minister Theresa May decided to delivered a rare public admonishment to US President Donald Trump on Thursday, declaring that he was “wrong” to share anti-Muslim videos posted online by a “hateful” British far-right group.
“I’m very clear that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do,” she said, referencing the reportedly “far-right” political party whose member Trump retweeted, according to CNN.
Via Conservative Tribune:
“Britain First is a hateful organization,” she added. “It seeks to spread mistrust and division in our communities. It stands against common British decency.”
Trump responded by dropping a tweet blasting May for focusing on his retweets instead of what he believes to be the real problem: radical Islamic terrorism.
.@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
As the Conservative Tribune noted last week, Trump had a valid point: “(A) stunning report published Wednesday … revealed that ‘the number of people arrested for terrorism-linked offences (in the U.K.) rose by more than two-thirds to a record 379 in the 12 months to June — one of the most intense periods for terrorist attacks in recent history.’”
Of those 379 suspects, nearly a third were eventually charged with terrorism offenses, while nearly 18 percent still face further investigation.
Mind you, some might reasonably argue that Trump could have expressed his point in a slightly better manner, especially given the content of the videos.
Of the three videos retweeted by Trump, the first showed radical Muslims pushing a teenage boy off a roof and then beating him to death, while the second depicted Muslims destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Those were just fine to retweet. However, the third video showed two Dutch boys duking it out like a pair of normal, rambunctious teens.
The problem is the retweet contained a caption from Britain first member Jayda Fransen that read as follows: “Muslim migrants beats up Dutch boy on crutches!”
That was a blatant lie — one retweeted by the president.
Was it wrong for the president to retweet these videos? Not necessarily. Despite Britain First’s controversial history, the organization has valid points about mass Muslim migration. Plus, the president wasn’t necessarily aware of its shady past, though he should have at least removed the third video. As of Monday he hadn’t.
All this said, Trump’s tweet at the British PM hit the nail on the head: Instead of obsessing over his tweets, May ought to be taking steps to reduce the influence of radical Islam on the U.K.s population.
But judging by the statistics cited by The Guardian, she clearly hasn’t been.
May’s attempts to woo the US have left her in a difficult position. With a view to strengthening Anglo-US relations after Brexit, May was the first world leader to meet Trump after his inauguration, flying out to Washington to launch a charm offensive.
But the visit went down badly at home. She was widely criticized for taking Trump’s hand while walking at the White House, while she was also derided for offering him the invitation of a state visit so early in his presidency.