By retweeting anti-Muslim propaganda videos, Trump sent a troubling message to Americans.
Just under two years ago, I sat in a metal folding chair inside a mosque in Baltimore and listened to the sitting president of the United States tell me and around 200 of my fellow American Muslims that I belong in America.
Standing at a lectern in his socks (he’d taken off his shoes, as is customary for anyone entering a mosque), President Barack Obama looked out at the assembled crowd and the TV cameras and said, “If you’re ever wondering whether you fit in here, let me say it as clearly as I can, as president of the United States: You fit in here — right here. You’re right where you belong. You’re part of America, too.”
“You’re not Muslim or American,” he added. “You’re Muslim and American.”
In the midst of rising anti-Muslim sentiment in the country, it was a powerful message. I had tears in my eyes.
On Wednesday, the sitting president of the United States shared another message about Muslims and their place in America that brought tears to my eyes — but for a starkly different reason.
The videos came from a woman named Jayda Fransen, the leader of a far-right British political party called Britain First that is known for its extreme anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant views. Fransen was convicted in 2016 of religiously aggravated harassment after she verbally abused a woman wearing a hijab.