The two-time former prime minister of Malaysia said Thursday Muslims have “a right to be angry and kill millions of French people.”
Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, 95, served as the fourth and seventh prime minister of Malaysia and is still a member of the country’s parliament.
“Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past,” he wrote in a post Twitter has since deleted for violating its rules. “But by and large, the Muslims have not applied the ‘eye for an eye’ law. Muslims don’t. The French shouldn’t.”
“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,” Mohamad added.
The former Malaysian leader’s inflammatory tweets came after French President Emmanuel Macron declared the European country as “under attack” after three people were killed during a knife attack in a Nice, France, basilica by a radical Islamist. It also follows the beheading of a Parisian teacher who showed his students a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad.
Mohamad called Macron “very primitive” for suggesting religion motivated the 18-year-old Muslim’s decision to kill the educator.
“Macron is not showing that he is civilized,” he wrote. “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.”
While Twitter has left the majority of the former prime minister’s lengthy thread available, it did remove the post saying it’s appropriate for Muslim people to kill French citizens.
Cedric O, secretary of state for the digital sector of France, called on Twitter to “immediately” suspend Mohamad’s account.
“If not,” he continued, “Twitter would be an accomplice to a formal call for murder.”
As for the claims there was not a known motive for the attack in Nice, Mayor Christian Estrosi said that, upon capturing the attacker, police repeatedly heard the man yelling “Allahu Akbar.”
“We have two people killed inside the church … and a third person who was in a bar facing the church where she had taken refuge,” Estrosi said, according to The Guardian. “Enough is enough. … We have to remove this Islamo-fascism from our territory.”