KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s former premier Mahathir Mohamad said on Thursday Muslims had a right to “kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past”, but he did not approve of the killing of a French teacher over his use of cartoons of the holy Prophet (peace be upon him).

In a blog post Mahathir, 95, a respected leader in the Muslim world, said he believed in freedom of expression but that it should not be used to insult others.

“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 a blog post, which he also posted on Twitter.

“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,” he said.

Twitter said the message violated its rules and it had removed the tweet.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2020