POLITICS

Dutch Embassy Feels Driven To Fact-Check Trump's Islamophobic Retweet

Because "facts do matter."
President Donald Trump retweeted three videos aimed at stirring up fear of Islam.
President Donald Trump retweeted three videos aimed at stirring up fear of Islam.

The Dutch Embassy called out President Donald Trump on Wednesday for retweeting an Islamophobic and factually incorrect video of an incident in the Netherlands.

Earlier that day, Trump had retweeted without comment a series of videos that had been shared by British far-right activist Jayda Fransen, who serves as deputy leader of the anti-Muslim group Britain First. The three random videos purportedly show Muslims committing violence, but they’re misleadingly presented.

One video of a boy beating up another boy is captioned in English, “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” But its original caption on a Dutch website didn’t mention race or religion, and local media reported that the 16-year-old aggressor was not actually a migrant.

The Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, D.C., corroborated the perpetrator’s real identity in a tweet directed at Trump that began pointedly, “Facts do matter.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the president’s actions by saying, essentially, it doesn’t matter whether the videos were accurately or fairly described because “the threat is real.”

“I’m not talking about the nature of the video,” she told reporters. “I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing. The threat is real and that is what the president is talking about.”

Sanders did not elaborate on what the threat was, exactly, but emphasized the need to secure America’s borders.

The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Meanwhile, the British government denounced Trump’s casual retweeting of Fransen’s posts, saying the president was “wrong” to share videos from a group that “peddles lies” and is “overwhelmingly rejected” by the British public.

Britain First is notorious for spreading hoaxes about Islam and conducting aggressive “mosque invasions.” The group has also campaigned for an outright ban on Islam in the U.K., which would entail jailing or deporting anyone found to be “promoting the ideology of Islam,” closing mosques, banning the Quran and prohibiting Islamic headscarves.

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