Outrage After Mahathir Tweets Muslims Have A Right To "Kill Millions Of French People"

Many have described his statements as hate speech.

Cover image via Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad (Facebook)

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include Dr Mahathir's latest statement.

Last night, 29 October, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad sparked outrage on social media by tweeting that Muslims have "a right to be angry and kill millions of French people"

The 95-year-old justified his claim by stating that it would be for "the massacres of the past".

Importantly, though, Mahathir noted in his follow-up tweet that despite his personal belief system, "by and large the Muslims have not applied the 'eye for an eye' law. Muslims don't. The French shouldn't".

According to Mahathir, angry people will kill regardless of the religion they profess.

He tweeted these statements in a Twitter thread that was linked out to his personal blog.

Twitter has since taken down his tweet in which the veteran politician called for murder, after an appeal from Cedric O, who is the Secretary of State for the Digital Sector of France.

Prior to taking down the tweet, Twitter had simply flagged it as "glorifying violence".

However, Mahathir's statement about "Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past" is still up on his blog at the time of this writing, 30 October.

Mahathir's statements came after three people were killed in Nice, France.

The Malaysian politician, however, did not make a direct reference to the attack in Nice. Instead, he addressed the beheading of a history teacher that happened two weeks ago in Paris.

Mahathir also went on to claim how people outside the West often "copy the ways of the West" in terms of dressing and political systems

According to him, we have our own values which "we need to sustain".

In his follow-up tweet, Mahathir rallied against "latecomers" with new ideas that add new interpretations other than what "the originators intended".

He also rallied against those who want to "eliminate everything that is different between men and women" and said "freedom for women" merely means "the right to vote in elections".

"The trouble with new ideas is that the latecomers tend to add new interpretations. These are not what the originators intended. Thus, freedom for women meant the right to vote in elections. Today, we want to eliminate everything that is different between men and women," he said.

He also did not appreciate how women in the West can now wear as they desire.

He said "European women" were not allowed to expose any part of their body except the face in earlier times.

"But over the years, more and more parts of the body are exposed. Today a little string covers the most secret place, that's all. In fact, many in the west are totally naked when on certain beaches," he added.

Many have since described his statements as hate speech

Andrew Goledzinowski, who is Australia's ambassador in Malaysia, quoted Mahathir's tweet that called for murder, saying, "I am deeply disturbed by this statement from Tun Dr Mahathir."

Brendan Berne, who is the former Australian ambassador to France, called Mahathir "a bigot without principles", adding, "he loves buying luxury goods from LVMH in Paris. He's a pious hypocrite."

UMNO Supreme Council member Fathul Bari Mat Jahya, who is also a cleric, urged Mahathir to delete his tweet, saying, "Tun, this is not right. Islam does not teach its adherents to punish wholesale."

Former prime minister Najib Razak, meanwhile, asked for people to "calm down", before adding that all of Mahathir's social media accounts should be taken away "before he does more damage".

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described Mahathir's statements as "absolutely absurd".

"Of course [Muslims] don't have that right. It's just abhorrent to suggest anyone has such a right I don't believe that is the view of Muslims. At a sheer human level, the only human response to [the attack] is to be utterly devastated by it and stand with families who would be suffering so much," he was quoted as saying.

Following the publication of this story, Mahathir has issued a statement, saying what he wrote yesterday was "take out of context":

Read about the killings that happened in France:

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