New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern — world-famous for her embrace of minorities in her country — has denounced racist remarks made by US President Donald Trump against four US congresswomen.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Trump said the congresswomen — three of them Muslims — were “spewing” “racist hatred,” calling on them to “go back” to the “broken and crime infested’’ countries they originally came from.
Prime Minister Ardern said in response on Tuesday that she proudly celebrated diversity in the corridors of power in New Zealand.
“Usually, I don’t get into other people’s politics, but it will be clear to most people that I completely and utterly disagree with him (Trump),” she told Radio New Zealand.
“We take the view that our parliament should be a representative place, it should look and feel like New Zealand, it should have a range of different cultures and ethnicities,” Ardern said. “And never should a judgment be made about the origin of anyone, and their right, therefore, to be in parliament as a representative.”
Shortly after Ardern herself was elected in late 2017, Trump joked that she had “caused a lot of upset in her country.”
In her Tuesday remarks, Ardern quipped, “You know, no one marched when I was elected,” in a tacit reference to the protests that followed Trump’s upset victory in 2016.
Ardern has been hailed as “the anti-Trump” by US media. She was also praised globally for her handling of terrorist attacks targeting mosques in New Zealand back in March.
Among the four congresswomen who came under attack by Trump was Representative Rashida Tlaib, who is a daughter of a Palestinian refugee.
The remarks also drew reaction from the Palestinian Authority, which described the US president’s comments as an “insult to the Statue of Liberty.”
“It’s an insult to the Statue of Liberty, America’s most famous symbol, an insult to the American values where migrants from all over the world are united as one nation under one law,” said spokesman for the Palestinian Authority Ibrahim Milhim.
An uncle of Tlaib, Bassam Tlaib, who lives in the West Bank, also reacted to Trump’s remarks, saying they were “meant to target Rashida because she has Palestinian roots.”
“This statement proves that Trump is anti-Palestinian, anti-Islam, and completely biased toward Israel,” he added.
British Prime Minister Theresa May and Canadian leader Justin Trudeau also condemned Trump’s attacks on the four women.
“That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” Trudeau said.
The British prime minister denounced “the language which was used to refer to the women,” describing it as “completely unacceptable.”
Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the two politicians who are competing to succeed May, also joined the prime minister in condemning Trump.
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