NEW DELHI: In a shocking justification of Islamist terrorism, Malaysia's former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Thursday that Muslims have a "right to be angry and to kill millions of French people".
Just a few hours after another French person was beheaded by an "Allah hu Akbar" sloganeering terrorist in France, Mahathir in a series of tweets strongly justified the violent reaction of Muslims to the Charlie Hebdo caricatures of Prophet Mohammad.
"A teacher in France had his throat slit by an 18-year-old Chechen boy. The killer was angered by the teacher showing a caricature of Prophet Muhammad. The teacher intended to demonstrate freedom of expression. The killing is not an act that as a Muslim I would approve. But while I believe in the freedom of expression, I do not think it includes insulting other people. You cannot go up to a man and curse him simply because you believe in freedom of speech," Mahathir tweeted, drawing massive support from many from the community on the social media platform.
Lashing out at French President Emmanuel Macron, who has declared that France will fight radical Islam, Mahathir tweeted, "Macron is not showing that he is civilised. He is very primitive in blaming the religion of Islam and Muslims for the killing of the insulting school teacher. It is not in keeping with the teachings of Islam. But irrespective of the religion professed, angry people kill. 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," he tweeted, triggering a world-wide debate on Islamic fundamentalism.
Mahathir then went on to claim, "But by and large the Muslims have not applied the 'eye for an eye' law. Muslims don't. The French shouldn't. Instead the French should teach their people to respect other people's feelings."
The former Prime Minister of Malaysia warned France, "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. The boycott cannot compensate the wrongs committed by the French all these years."
In the rest of his Twitter thread, he expressed disdain for the Western culture. "We often copy the ways of the West. We dress like them, we adopt their political systems, even some of their strange practices. But we have our own values, different as between races and religions, which we need to sustain," Mahathir wrote.
The dress code of European women at one time was severely restrictive, he wrote. "Apart from the face, no part of the body was exposed. 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. The West accepts this as normal," he added. Mahathir also took a dig at Christians, saying, "Generally, the west no longer adheres to their own religion. They are Christians in name only." (IANS)