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While Donald Trump went to make fart noises at America's foes in the EU and shit all over our traditional enemy, the United Kingdom, it seems his administration had some tough talk for those darned Britons or English or Ukies -- they have many names! -- about the UK's oppression of religious minorities. Or at least the oppression of one guy: Tommy Robinson, the founder of the far-right anti-Muslim English Defence League, and his religious freedom to violate a court order, Reuters reports.


According to "a British official" and a couple of organizers of a pro-Robinson demonstration, former Kansas governor and current US "Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom" Sam Brownback used a meeting with British Ambassador Sir Kim Darroch to bring up poor Tommy Robinson's plight. Robinson was jailed for a year starting in May for contempt of court, after violating a court order barring publicity about an ongoing criminal trial; Robinson had gone on Facebook for an hour to do exactly that, which a judge said risked prejudicing the trial's outcome (No, the UK does not have a First Amendment).

British and American wingnuts have claimed Robinson was jailed to silence his very important journalistic work of inciting hatred against Muslims at every opportunity. Here, enjoy some of Mr. Robinson's journamalistic output, collected by various folks on the Twitters:


According to Reuters, Brownback told Darroch the Trump administration is keeping a watchful eye on Robinson, because what about his religious freedom, huh?

Brownback told Darroch that if Britain did not treat Robinson more sympathetically, the Trump administration might be compelled to criticize Britain's handling of the case, according to the two sources in contact with organizers of the planned pro-Robinson demonstration.

The sources said Robinson's supporters, who have also been in touch with the Trump administration about the issue, were concerned that he could be attacked by other prisoners.

That actually is a semi-fair concern, because prisons can be violent places (this is where we remind you of our commenting guidelines, too), but it's weird to single out Robinson as if he were Nelson Mandela or something. Perhaps he could share a cell with Paul Manafort?

While Brownback wasn't available to comment on the reports and the British Embassy in the US had no comment, a State Department spokesperson

said the "characterizations" of Brownback's meeting with Darroch by Reuters sources were "completely false" but the spokesman did not elaborate further.

That's a pretty good denial. You see, actually, some of the pronouns and articles were probably different, so Fake News.

Moviemaker dude Juan Salvo offered this insight on just how bizarre all this is:


Also, In one of the more hilarious paragraphs we've read lately, the Reuters piece adds,

Reuters was unable to determine why the top U.S. official responsible for defending religious freedom would try to intervene with the British government on behalf of an activist who has expressed anti-Islamic views.

That seems perfectly obvious: Hating the bad people is a vital part of American rightwing Evangelical belief. They don't particularly follow Jesus when it comes to crap like loving your neighbor, welcoming the stranger, healing the sick, or doing anything for the children they take from their parents, but they're outstanding when it comes to denying service to sodomites and calling for a holy war against scary Muslims. Hell, that's just about the only consistent tenet of their faith. Outside of tax cuts.

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[Reuters / TPM / Guardian]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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