Don’t paint France with same brush, Umno’s Fathul Bari tells Dr Mahathir after ‘punish French’ remarks

Zurairi Ar
·2-min read
Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Fathul Bari Mat Jahya has slammed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over the latter’s blog post today. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Fathul Bari Mat Jahya has slammed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over the latter’s blog post today. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Fathul Bari Mat Jahya has slammed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over the latter’s blog post today on the response against France and its president Emmanuel Macron.

Quoting part of a Twitter thread posted by the former prime minister, the cleric said Dr Mahathir was wrong to be prejudicial against the French.

“Tun, this is not right. Islam does not teach its adherents to punish wholesale,” he posted on Twitter, referring to Dr Mahathir.

“This is a reprehensible tribalism. As a statesman, and a figure popular abroad, with due respect I request Tun to delete this remark.”

Fathul Bari had quoted a post from a longer thread, where Dr Mahathir wrote: “Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.”

Fathul Bari said Dr Mahathir should instead take to heart the lesson behind the Christchurch mosque shootings in March last year.

In August this year, Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the massacre of 51 Muslim worshippers in two Christchurch mosques for 20 minutes during Friday prayers last year.

The atrocity shocked New Zealand and prompted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to immediately tighten gun laws and pressure social media giants to curb online extremism.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir published a blog post suggesting that Muslims “have the right to punish” the French for their alleged wrongs committed against the community, amid escalating violence in France.

Posted just a few hours after a knife attack outside Nice, France that killed three people and injured others, the former prime minister said Muslims also deserve to be angry and a boycott against the republic will not even suffice.

Dr Mahathir’s post came as a knife-wielding attacker shouting “Allahu Akbar” beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a suspected terrorist attack at a church in the French city of Nice today.

The attack comes while France is still reeling from the beheading earlier this month of French middle school teacher Samuel Paty by a man of Chechen origin.

Since Paty’s killing, French officials — backed by many ordinary citizens — have re-asserted the right to display the cartoons, and the images have been widely displayed at marches in solidarity with the killed teacher.

That has prompted an outpouring of anger in parts of the Muslim world, with some governments accusing French leader Emmanuel Macron of pursuing an anti-Islam agenda.

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