Mahathir Mohamad said freedom of expression does not include ‘insulting other people’ as fury over satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed sweeps the Islamic world.
Muslims ‘have the right to kill millions of French people’, Malaysia’s former PM says after church terror attack in Nice – as Scott Morrison slams ‘abhorrent’ comments
- Malaysia’s ex-PM Mahathir Mohamad launched an extraordinary outburst after the attack in Nice
- The 95-year-old politician said in a now-removed tweet Muslims have a right ‘to kill millions of French people’
- He said freedom of speech does not include ‘insulting other people’ amid row over cartoons of the Prophet
Malaysia‘s former prime minister said that Muslims have the right ‘to kill millions of French people’, shortly after a knife-wielding Islamist killed three people in a deadly terror attack in Nice.
Mahathir Mohamad, who lost power in February this year, said freedom of expression does not include ‘insulting other people’ as fury over satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed sweeps the Islamic world.
The 95-year-old politician said he did not approve of the beheading of a French school teacher for sharing caricatures of the Prophet, but said: ‘Irrespective of the religion professed, angry people kill’.
‘The French in the course of their history [have] killed millions of people. Many were Muslims,’ he said in a tweet which has since been removed for violating the website’s rules.
Mahathir, who has drawn controversy for comments about Jews and LGBT people in the past, went on: ‘Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.’
The Malaysian politician said that ‘by and large’, Muslims have not applied the principle of ‘eye for an eye’: ‘Muslims don’t. The French shouldn’t. Instead the French should teach their people to respect other people’s feelings’.
Mahathir, who served as Malaysian premier twice for a total of 24 years, said that French President Emmanuel Macron was ‘very primitive’ and ‘not showing that he is civilised’.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison slammed Mahathir’s remarks, calling them ‘absurd and abhorrent’ as ge paid tribute to the victims of the terror attack in southern France.
‘The only thing that should be said today is to completely condemn those attacks. The only response is to be utterly, utterly devastated,’ Mr Morrison told 2GB radio on Friday morning.
France’s digital minister demanded that Twitter also ban Mahathir from its platform, with Cedric O saying he told the managing director of the social media giant in France that his account ‘must be immediately suspended.’
The former Prime Minister made no direct reference to the attack in a church in Nice, but his comments come amid fury across the Islamic world at President Emmanuel Macron for defending caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, and on the day that Sunni Muslims mark the Prophet’s birthday.
It came during a day of terror for France, in which:
- Vincent Loques, 45, a sacristan of the Notre Dame basilica in the city of Nice, was killed as he prepared for the first Mass of the day after 21-year-old Tunisian migrant Brahim Aoussaoui attacked the church;
- Aoussaoui attacked worshippers in the heart of the Mediterranean resort city with a foot-long blade, slitting the throat of an elderly woman in an apparent beheading attempt;
- A mother in her forties also succumbed to her injuries after seeking refuge in a nearby bar’;
- A knifeman shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ was shot dead by police in the city of Avignon;
- A security guard at the French consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was stabbed and wounded;
- A man armed with a knife was arrested in Sartrouville near a church after vowing ‘to do as in Nice’;
- An Afghan man was arrested in Lyon trying to board a train while armed with a long knife