Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad shot a sequence of tweets Thursday evening, outraged on the rising Islamophobia and stressing that freedom of expression didn’t embrace “insulting other people”.
Mahathir’s tweet storm got here hours after two terrorist assaults in France, certainly one of which left three folks lifeless in a stabbing spree exterior a church in southern metropolis of Nice.
The former Malaysia premier additionally referred to a French trainer who confirmed his pupils cartoons of Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and was beheaded for it in Paris — a transfer that sparked protests throughout France.
The French protests, nonetheless, have been countered by demonstrations — on a a lot bigger scale — throughout the Muslim world, together with in Turkey and Pakistan, over blasphemy and the rising Islamophobia within the West.
‘Angry folks kill’ and ‘Muslims have a proper to be indignant’
The outspoken 95-year-old, who dominated Malaysia for near 1 / 4 of a century, had mentioned “angry people kill” no matter their faith. “The French in the midst of their historical past has killed hundreds of thousands of individuals.
“Many were Muslims. Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past,” Mahathir added in his thread on Twitter, which, following shock throughout the Internet, was pulled down by the social media firm.
“By and large the Muslims have not applied the ‘eye for an eye’ law. Muslims don’t,” he had mentioned, warning that the French should not both.
But the query everybody ought to be asking proper now’s: Does Malaysian PM really need Muslims to “kill millions of French people”?
And it’s this query that brings one to marvel what precisely was Mahathir referring to when he had written that the French had killed “millions of people” prior to now.
The reply lies within the genocide in the course of the Algerian independence and the Holocaust.
Executions, bombing, and shelling on Muslim villages
France had Algeria as its colony for greater than 130 years till the nation declared independence. During the Sétif and Guelma massacres, which preceded the Algerian War of Independence, France and its colonies have been accused of killing an estimated 6,000-30,000 folks, a lot of whom have been Muslims.
Starting the identical day as Germany surrendered in the course of the World War II, French colonial gendarmerie — police — and protesters clashed in Sétif and Guelma, with chaos persevering with for nearly per week earlier than France ordered its military and police to suppress the rise up by Muslim civilians.
The French navy carried out executions, bombing, and shelling on Muslim villages, whereas vigilantes lynched or shot lifeless Muslims who have been both detained or strolling within the streets.
Once the rise up was suppressed, the French management executed virtually a 100 of the 4,560 arrested Muslims.
‘Arabic is my language, Islam is my faith’
Later, in the course of the course of the wrestle for independence, some 300,000 Algerians have been killed and plenty of extra wounded, displaced or categorised lacking. A revolutionary slogan that many nonetheless keep in mind from that point was: “Arabic is my language, Islam is my religion, Algeria is my country.”
Algerians now accuse France of getting launched a warfare towards their mosques and seminaries.
According to Anadolu Agency, which cited the NGO Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights’ 2017 statistics, the entire variety of victims of the French colonial rule was estimated to be greater than 10 million.
This contains the casualties from France’s invasion of Algeria in 1830, resulting in the genocide of between 0.5-1 million Algerians and comprising crimes similar to mass rapes and massacres, amongst different brutalities.
Holocaust fuel chambers a ‘element’, right-wing French politician
Algerian historians additionally declare that France’s colonial authorities carried out 57 nuclear experiments within the Algerian desert from 1960-66, with Paris saying the quantity was 17. These experiments have been estimated to have killed virtually 42,000 Algerians and injured 1000’s of others resulting from radioactivity.
Separately, with respect to the Holocaust, Jean-Marie Le Pen — the daddy of former French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen who was ousted from the National Front, the hardline right-wing occasion he based, by his personal daughter, has been fined thrice for terming the fuel chambers used to kill Jews a mere “detail” of historical past.
Not solely that, however in his youth, the then 29-year-old lieutenant was allegedly a part of a torture marketing campaign whereas main a particular navy intelligence unit in the course of the Battle of Algiers, the place he reportedly participated within the electrocution, beatings, rape, and water tortures, in keeping with his victims.
Torture centre the place Algerians have been murdered
According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia, the Vichy regime — or the French State — actively collaborated with the Nazi regime, arrested some 13,000 Jewish males, ladies, and youngsters, and deported the bulk to Auschwitz. “Some 77,000 Jews living on French territory perished in concentration camps and killing centers,” it added.
In 2000, French Army normal Paul Aussaresses admitted and justified that systematic torture methods have been used in the course of the Algerian warfare, in addition to acknowledged assassinations of Algerian leaders that have been masked as suicides.
French navy officer Marcel “Bruno” Bigeard, recognized for his involvement in ‘unconventional’ warfare, had mentioned torture was a “necessary evil”. In 2000, Bigeard confirmed that he had been stationed at a delegated torture centre the place Algerians have been systematically murdered.
Colonisation a ‘crime towards humanity’, says Macron
It is noteworthy that though France by no means issued an official apology, French President Emmanuel Macron, whereas operating for elections, risked and ultimately confronted the ire of the nation’s conservative inhabitants by terming colonisation a “crime against humanity” throughout a go to to Algeria in 2017.
“It’s truly barbarous and it’s part of a past that we need to confront by apologising to those against whom we committed these acts,” Macron had mentioned.
To see why Mahathir’s feedback induced such upset internationally — each bodily and on-line — one should perceive what transpired on Thursday.
France knife assault, Jeddah stabbing try
Three folks have been killed at a church in Nice, with the attacker slitting the throat of no less than one, in what authorities have been treating as the most recent extremist assault to rock the nation.
French anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-François Ricard later mentioned the suspect was a 21-year-old Tunisian nationwide, a migrant who arrived in France carrying a doc issued by the Italian Red Cross. Police sources recognized him as Brahim Aioussaoi.
In the opposite assault, in French metropolis of Avignon, police shot lifeless a person who threatened them with a handgun.
In one more assault, this one in Jeddah, a Saudi man was arrested for attacking and wounding a guard “with sharp tool” on the French consulate within the Kingdom. The guard “was taken to hospital and his life is not in danger”.
France introduced it was deploying an extra additional 4,000 troops for the safety of church buildings and faculties.
Twitter deletes Mahathir’s tweet ‘glorifying violence’
Shortly afterwards, Mahathir posted his Twitter thread, with the micro-blogging platform initially declining to take away the feedback however lastly doing so following a livid response from the French authorities.
The French junior minister for digital affairs, Cedric O, mentioned in a tweet in French and English: “I simply spoke with the MD (managing director) of @TwitterFrance.
“The account of @chedetofficial must be immediately suspended. If not, @twitter would be an accomplice to a formal call for murder.”
Twitter initially flagged Mahathir’s tweet about killing “millions of French people” as “glorifying violence” however didn’t take away it.
However, shortly afterwards, the tweet was deleted completely, and Twitter informed AFP it was as a result of the feedback “violated policy regarding glorification of violence.”
Mahathir by no means made a direct reference to the assault in Nice nonetheless.
France a ‘nation of tolerance’, French imams attraction for calm
Late evening, alternatively, French president Macron travelled to the scene and denounced the spiritual “terrorist attack”. The nation, he vowed, would stand agency towards violent extremists.
Urging folks of all religions to unite and never “give in to the spirit of division”, he mentioned France is not going to “give up on our values”.
In addition, many French imams have additionally appealed for calm. The director-general of the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM), Abdallah Zekri, denounced Thursday’s assault.
French overseas minister Jean-Yves Le Drian proffered “a message of peace to the Muslim world”, insisting France was a “country of tolerance.”
Since January 2015, when assailants massacred 12 folks on the places of work of satirical journal Charlie Hebdo, greater than 250 folks have been killed in extremist assaults on French soil.