Head of Church of England calls for Trump to delete retweeted videos
The leader of the Church of England, the archbishop of Canterbury, on Wednesday called on President Trump to remove from his Twitter account videos allegedly showing acts of violence committed by Muslims, which Trump retweeted from an ultranationalist U.K. leader.
“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 neighbours,” Justin 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 neighbour 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.
Welby also serves as head of the Anglican Communion, which includes the Episcopal Church in the United States.
The three videos were first tweeted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the ultranationalist Britain First Party.
British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the retweets, calling it “wrong for the president to have done this.”
Multiple U.K. politicians have also spoken out against the retweets, including Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who 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 to highlight the videos to his nearly 44 million Twitter followers.
“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.”