Malaysia Ex-PM’s ‘Muslims Have a Right to Kill French’ Rant Taken Down

Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir bin Mohamad’s extraordinary diatribe that “Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people” has been removed from Facebook and Twitter.

Mohamad, who led the Muslim-majority country as recently as March 2020, had said that “Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past” on the same day a gruesome terror attack took place at a church in Nice, which was itself something of an epilogue to the public beheading of teacher Samuel Paty near Paris.

Twitter ruled that Mohamad’s tweet violated its rules against “glorifying violence” but initially allowed it to remain visible to his 1.3 million followers, deciding it may be in the public interest to do so, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

It reversed this decision and took the tweet down amid significant public anger — but the rest of the thread remains available, including a subsequent tweet asserting: “Since you have blamed all Muslims and the Muslims’ religion for what was done by one angry person, the Muslims have a right to punish the French.”

Facebook has removed the rant in its entirety.

The belated action by Twitter to take down one of Mohamad’s tweets falls well short of the action demanded by the French government, which told the managing director of Twitter’s French operations that “The account must be immediately suspended. If not, Twitter would be an accomplice to a formal call for murder.”

The Malaysian elder statesman’s rant was also condemned by the Australian government, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison of the conservative-leaning Liberal Party branding his comments “absolutely absurd”.

“Of course [Muslims] don’t have that right,” he said, in reference to the Malaysian’s remarks that “Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people”.

“It’s just abhorrent to suggest anyone has such a right,” Morrison added, insisting that “the only human response to [the attack] is to be utterly devastated by it and stand with families who would be suffering so much.”

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
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