Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad slams tech giants for removing posts on France attack

WION Web Team
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Published: Oct 30, 2020, 04.59 PM(IST)

File photo: Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

After sparking outrage by his post that Muslims had the right 'to kill millions of French people', Mahathir accused social networking platforms Twitter and Facebook of unfair treatment

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday slammed tech giants for removing his posts that glorified the France terror attack.

After sparking outrage by his post that Muslims had the right "to kill millions of French people", Mahathir accused social networking platforms Twitter and Facebook of unfair treatment.

"Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past. But by and large the Muslims have not applied the 'eye for an eye' law. Muslims don't. The French shouldn't," Mahathir said in his posts.

Twitter removed the tweet about the right to kill saying it had violated the platform's rules on glorifying violence. The post was also deleted on Facebook.

Also read: Twitter deletes former Malaysian PM's tweet that glorified France attack

The 95-year-old said his comments had been misrepresented and his main intention was to express that Muslims had never sought revenge for injustices.

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He said the posts were removed despite attempts to outline the context, adding that Facebook and Twitter "must at least allow me to explain and defend my position".  

"But that is what freedom of speech is to them. On the one hand, they defended those who chose to display offending caricatures of Prophet Mohammed... and expect all Muslims to swallow it in the name of freedom of speech and expression. 

"On the other, they deleted deliberately that Muslims had never sought revenge for the injustice against them in the past."

French Minister of State for digital and telecommunications, Cédric O, in a conversation with Twitter's managing director in France, had said that Mahathir's account must be immediately suspended.

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Mahathir's justified his posts saying that ''they did not refer to the Nice attack'', which followed the beheading of a French teacher who had shown pupils cartoons of Prophet Mohammed and subsequent tensions between France and Muslim countries.

He said the French "in the course of their history has killed millions of people. Many were Muslims. Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past."

But he added that "by and large the Muslims have not applied the 'eye for an eye' law. Muslims don't. The French shouldn't."

Several Muslim-majority countries have denounced remarks by French officials, including President Emmanuel Macron, defending the use of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a French school classroom. The caricatures are seen as blasphemous by Muslims.

The dispute flared after a French teacher who showed his pupils satirical cartoons of the Prophet during a civics lesson was beheaded in the street by an attacker of Chechen origin.

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