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Morrison condemns former Malaysian PM’s remarks after terror attack

Scott Morrison has condemned inflammatory remarks by former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad in the wake of the Nice terror attack.

In a series of tweets, Dr Mahatir, 95, wrote about the cultural struggles between the Muslim and Western worlds. He said that “Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past” in a post that was later taken down by Twitter.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the remarks as “absolutely absurd”.

Police officers stand guard near Notre Dame church in Nice, southern France. (AP)

He told the only sensible response to the Nice attack is to be “utterly devastated”.

“Of course (Muslims) don’t have that right. It’s just abhorrent to suggest anyone has such a right,” Mr Morrison said.

“I don’t believe that is the view of Muslims. At a sheer human level, the only human response to (the terror attack) is to be utterly devastated by it and stand with families who would be suffering so much.”

Dr Mahatir made the comments after a woman was reportedly decapitated and two others killed by a knife-wielding man at a church in Nice in southern France on Thursday. Authorities have named the suspect who was shot and injured by police as Brahim Aouissaoui, a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant.

And in Saudi Arabia a man was arrested after attacking and injuring a guard at the French consulate in Jeddah.

Mr Morrison said the attacks were “the most callous and cowardly and vicious act of barbarism by a terrorist and should be condemned in the strongest possible way”.

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has stoked fury suggesting Muslims have the right to kill people. (AP)

The prime minister spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron overnight to say Australia stood with France.

“The heartache that would be going across the French people today as it shudders through the rest of the world is hard to put into words,” Mr Morrison said.

Dr Mahathir began his tweets with his thoughts on the killing of a teacher in Paris earlier this month.

Samuel Paty, was beheaded outside his school in a suburb of Paris after showing his controversial set of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad which were republished by the magazine Charlie Hebdo in September.

After the killing, Mr Macron declared “Islam is a religion that is in crisis today all over the world”.

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives at Notre Dame church in Nice after the terror attack. (AP)

Twitter at first put a label on the tweet saying it glorified violence but left it up because it “may be in the public’s interest.”

The tweet was later removed and replaced with a tag saying it broke the rules. The company said it took action for violating its policy on glorification of violence, which doesn’t allow threats against individuals or a group of people.

He has been viewed as an advocate of moderate Islamic views and a spokesman for the interests of developing countries. But at the same time, he pointedly criticised Western society and nations and their relationships to the Muslim world.

France’s digital minister demanded the company ban him from its platform.

Cedric O said he told the managing director of Twitter in France that Mahathir’s account “must be immediately suspended,” O tweeted on Thursday. “If not, @twitter would be an accomplice to a formal call for murder.”

Dr Mahathir has previously been rebuked for inflammatory comments about gay and Jewish people.

Former Australian prime minister Paul Keating famously described him as a “recalcitrant”.

Source: 9News | World News

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