Justin Welby, the head of the Church of England, on Wednesday called on President Trump to remove three retweeted ultranationalist videos allegedly showing acts of violence committed by Muslims and to “make clear his opposition to racism and hatred in all forms.”
“It is deeply disturbing that the President of the United States has chosen to amplify the voice of far-right extremists. Britain First seeks to divide communities and intimidate minorities, especially our Muslim friends and neighbors,” Welby said in a statement on Facebook.
“Britain First does not share our values of tolerance and solidarity. God calls us as Christians to love our neighbor and seek the flourishing of all in our communities, societies and nations. I join the urgent call of faith groups and others for President Trump not just to remove these tweets, but to make clear his opposition to racism and hatred in all forms,” Welby continued.
The Hill added:
Welby also serves as head of the Anglican Communion, which encompasses churches in the United States.
The videos were first published by the leader of the ultranationalist Britain First Party, Jayda Fransen, who was found guilty last year of “religiously aggravated harassment” after she verbally abused a woman wearing a hijab in front of her four children.
Fransen was arrested earlier this month over a hate speech she gave this summer at a Northern Ireland Against Terrorism rally in Belfast, according to the BBC.
Britain First has previously posted a number of misleading videos, according to The Washington Post.
British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a rare direct condemnation of Trump’s decision to retweet the videos posted by the notorious far-right British extremist, calling it “wrong for the president to have done this.”
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn called them “abhorrent, dangerous and a threat to our society.”
I hope our Government will condemn far-right retweets by Donald Trump. They are abhorrent, dangerous and a threat to our society.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 29, 2017
The White House, however, defended Trump’s decision, saying it doesn’t matter if the videos are real or fake.
“I’m not talking about the nature of the video,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Wednesday. “I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing. The threat is real and that is what the president is talking about.”