A ‘Chris­tian’ cru­sade fu­elled by hate videos

The deputy leader of far-right group glee­fully wages a one-woman Twit­ter war against Is­lam

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Robert Men­dick CHIEF REPORTER

Day af­ter day, Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right or­gan­i­sa­tion Bri­tain First, up­loads an­ti­is­lamic hate videos on Twit­ter. Ms Fransen has posted more than 15,000 tweets since open­ing her Twit­ter ac­count 18 months ago. On Twit­ter, she de­scribes her­self as “faith­ful to God and Bri­tan­nia” and it is clear that she is wag­ing her own Chris­tian cru­sade against Mus­lims.

Bri­tain First, founded in 2011 by for­mer mem­bers of the Bri­tish Na­tional Party, is not limited to provoca­tive mes­sages on the in­ter­net. It has staged “mosque in­va­sions” and car­ried out “Chris­tian pa­trols” in eth­ni­cally di­verse towns.

But yes­ter­day, the group, which claims 6,000 mem­bers, en­joyed its great­est ever pub­lic­ity coup. Ms Fransen, 31, could not con­tain her glee when Don­ald Trump retweeted three videos, en­dors­ing her Is­lam­o­pho­bic mes­sage to his 43.6mil­lion fol­low­ers.

Ms Fransen, who faces two sep­a­rate tri­als for re­li­giously ag­gra­vated harassment and for us­ing threat­en­ing and abu­sive lan­guage, posted on twit­ter in cap­i­tal let­ters: “The Pres­i­dent of the United States, Don­ald Trump, has retweeted three of Deputy Leader Jayda Fransen’s Twit­ter videos! Don­ald Trump him­self has retweeted th­ese videos and has around 44mil­lion fol­low­ers! God bless you Trump! God bless Amer­ica!”

A lit­tle over a week ago, Ms Fransen was ar­rested in Kent and taken to Belfast for ques­tion­ing over a speech she made in Au­gust out­side Belfast City Hall. She was later charged with us­ing “threat­en­ing, abu­sive or in­sult­ing words or be­hav­iour”.

Ms Fransen and Paul Gold­ing, the party’s leader, separately face charges for in­cit­ing racial ha­tred over protests in Kent, dat­ing back to the sum­mer.

Ms Fransen said she be­lieved Mr Trump’s en­dorse­ment of her tweets was his way of ex­press­ing sup­port for her le­gal plight. She said: “The leader of the free world has sig­ni­fied his dis­gust at an elected leader be­ing ar­rested and pos­si­bly fac­ing two years in pri­son over an Is­lamic blas­phemy law. Pak­istan and Saudi Ara­bia have laws where you can’t speak out about Is­lam. The UK doesn’t.”

Ms Fransen had for­merly been a mem­ber of the far-right English De­fence League be­fore be­ing elected as Bri­tain First’s deputy leader in 2014. She reg­u­larly at­tends marches in towns with large Mus­lim pop­u­la­tions, hold­ing aloft a cru­ci­fix in a seem­ingly de­lib­er­ately provoca­tive act.

Mr Gold­ing stood against Sadiq Khan in the Lon­don may­oral elec­tion and turned his back dur­ing the mayor’s vic­tory speech. Af­ter Mr Khan’s vic­tory, the group an­nounced it would take up “mil­i­tant di­rect ac­tion” against elected Mus­lim of­fi­cials.

In a chill­ing warn­ing on­line, it said: “Our in­tel­li­gence-led op­er­a­tions will fo­cus on all as­pects of their day-to-day lives and of­fi­cial func­tions, in­clud­ing where they live, work, pray and so on.”

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