Dr Mahathir Mohamad today accused Twitter of practising double standards after the social media giant deleted a post in which he raised the spectre of violence against France.
The post was part of a series of instalments from Mahathir’s blog condemning the French government over the recent spate of violence linked to President Emmanuel Macron’s defence of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
The former leader today said he was “disgusted with attempts to misrepresent and take out of context” his comments.
“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 said, adding that his Facebook and Twitter administrators had been warned to remove the posts.
Twitter deleted Mahathir’s comments following complaints from the French government over one of the posts.
In that post, Mahathir had written: “Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.”
Mahathir today said it had been taken out of context, and that the censors had ignored the passages that followed: “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.”
Saying there was an attempt to “to stir French hatred for Muslims”, the former prime minister accused those who invoked free speech in removing his post of double standards.
“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 and expect all Muslims to swallow it in the name of freedom of speech and expression. On the other they deleted deliberately that Muslim had never sought revenge for the injustice against them in the past,” he added.