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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Elisabeth O’Leary

Scottish Muslims have invited Donald Trump to visit a mosque and learn about their faith during his visit to Scotland this month in the hope of changing his views.

The presumptive Republican U.S. presidential candidate, whose mother was Scottish, last year proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States as a response to Islamist attacks in Paris and California, causing a furor in Europe.

Accepting a visit to learn about the Muslim community might help show that he is not so extreme, Edinburgh Central Mosque Imam Yayha Barry told Reuters.

“I would say: ‘Hi Donald, we’re Muslims, welcome to our mosque! Do you still see Muslims as a threat to Western civilizations?'” he said.

Trump’s views prompted widespread opposition in Britain, where he owns two golf courses on the west and east Scottish coasts. His comments about stopping Mexican migrants entering the United States also caused offense, leading to the withdrawal of Scottish business and academic accolades.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the remarks by the potential leader of Britain’s closest international ally were “divisive, stupid and wrong”.

Neither Cameron nor Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon plan to meet him on his visit, which coincides with the result of Britain’s referendum on EU membership on June 24.

Spiritual leaders in the Islamic community invited Trump to “learn more about the Muslims that he offends”.

“We would welcome the opportunity to show him the work that we are doing in the community in Edinburgh when he comes to Scotland,” said Hafiz Ghafoor of Annandale Mosque and Munawar Hussain, secretary of Roxburgh St Mosque and Islamic Centre, in a joint statement.

Trump’s relationship with Scotland has been rocky since he contested a decision to build an offshore wind farm opposite his golf course in Aberdeenshire. His trip will include a visit there as well as to his courses at Turnberry, in southwestern Scotland, and Doonbeg, in Ireland.

Protests at Trump’s “misogynist, racist and xenophobic” views are planned by Aberdeen University students during his visit, the president of the Students’ Association said.

A spokesperson for the Trump Organisation did not respond to a request to comment.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said Trump should witness first hand the work being done by local Muslims to reach across faiths and help those in need.

“Muslims are our friends, colleagues, family and neighbors. When he insults them in such a grotesque manner he insults us all.”

About 77,000 Scots are Muslims, or 1.4 percent of the population, according to the latest official census in 2011.

 

 

(Reporting By Elisabeth O’Leary, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump gestures outside his hotel at the Trump Turnberry Resort in Scotland, Britain July 31, 2015.   REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/File Photo

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)