A ‘Christian’ crusade fuelled by hate videos
The deputy leader of far-right group gleefully wages a one-woman Twitter war against Islam
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.”