Malaysia’s former premier Mahathir Mohamad on Friday slammed social media giants Facebook and Twitter for “deliberately” deleting parts of his statement on Islamophobia with reference to several discouraging acts in France.
“FB [Facebook] and Twitter had… requested the administrators of my Facebook and Twitter accounts to remove the postings. Despite attempts to explain the context of the posting, they were removed,” Mahathir said in a blog.
He added: “There is nothing I can do with FB and Twitter’s decision to remove my posting. To my mind, since they are the purveyor of freedom of speech, they must at least allow me to explain and defend my position.”
Mahathir was referring to this line of his 13-point statement – Respect Others — issued on Thursday: “12. Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.”
The line was removed by the Facebook and the Twitter after he posted his statement on the social media.
However, Mahathir’s statement had added: “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.”
“I am indeed disgusted with attempts to misrepresent and take out of context what I wrote on my blog yesterday,” Mahathir said.
“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 Muhammad S.A.W. 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,” the 94-year-old Malaysian leader said.
“What is promoted by these reaction[s] to my article is to stir French hatred for Muslims,” he warned.
France is accused of committing mass murder during its colonialist era in countries such as Algeria, which was under French occupation for over 130 years and where over 1.5 million Algerians were killed.
Mahathir had said French people should be taught to respect other religions.
Touching on the French president’s remarks, he noted that Macron is not a civilized person.
“He [Macron] 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.”
Earlier this month, Macron described Islam as “a religion in crisis” and announced plans for tougher laws to tackle “Islamist separatism” in France.
Tensions escalated further after the murder on Oct. 16 of Samuel Paty, a middle school teacher who showed blasphemous cartoons during one of his classes on freedom of expression.
Macron defended the caricatures, saying France would “not give up our cartoons.”
Insulting cartoons by Charlie Hebdo, a weekly French magazine, were also projected on buildings in a few cities.
Since then, there have been international condemnations and calls to boycott French products as well as protests in many parts of the Muslim world.
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