France round-up: Attack flayed globally, Malaysia's ex-PM justifies violence
A knife-wielding attacker beheaded a woman and killed two others at a church in Nice, France, on Thursday, evoking anger and disbelief in the European country, and condemnation globally. Amid the outpouring of condolences, Malaysia's ex-PM Mahathir Mohamad tweeted Muslims have a right to kill French, for horrors of the past. The tweet was removed, but France wants his account suspended. Here's what happened.
Islamists have attacked France thrice in two months
Yesterday's attack was the third in two months to jolt France, which is already reeling under coronavirus pandemic. The attacks, caused by Muslim extremists, include the beheading of a school teacher in Paris, days after he showed satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's caricatures to the class while teaching about freedom of speech. His death triggered protests, with the French lending support to the deceased.
Yelling "Allahu Akbar," attacker stabbed three, was detained
As per reports, a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant, Brahim Aoussaoui, orchestrated the attack in Nice. He shouted Allahu Akbar, before beheading a 70-year-old parishioner and fatally stabbing other two. Aoussaoui came to Europe just a few weeks ago, said reports. A woman, in her 40s, was stabbed multiple times and escaped to a nearby cafe, where she breathed her last.
Tell my children I love them: Deceased's last words
Later, French diplomat Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam said the woman, who succumbed to injuries at the cafe, sent a message for her children. "'Tell my children that I love them,' The last words of the lady slaughtered this morning in #Nice, (sic)" tweeted Maylam. Hours after the slaughter in Nice, the French embassy in Saudi Arabia was also attacked, wherein a guard was stabbed.
Macron said France is under attack
Later, President Emmanuel Macron, whose tough stand against radical Islam miffed the Muslim world, visited Nice, announcing that he would be deploying 7,000 soldiers, up from 3,000, at churches, schools, and other attractions. Not flinching from his earlier position, Macron said, "If we have been attacked once again, it is because of our values, our taste for freedom."
Muslims have a right to kill, claimed Mahathir
Just as the world made sense of attacks in France, Mahathir, 95, a known leader in the Muslim world, put out a series of tweets, sort of justifying the violence. One of his tweets read, "Muslims have a right to be angry and kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past." Naturally, this made way for an angry outburst.
Twitter first let tweet be, with disclaimer, then deleted it
As people tagged Twitter, asking the platform to take action against Mahathir, the micro-blogging website left the tweet with a disclaimer. Later, the tweet was deleted but the entire thread was left as is, prompting questions about Twitter's policies and neutrality. Dissatisfied with the token action, Cedric O, France's Secretary for Digital Sector, asked Twitter to suspend Mahathir's account altogether.
Suspend his account: France official told Twitter
"I just spoke with the Managing Director of Twitter France. The account of former Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad must be immediately suspended. If not, Twitter would be an accomplice to a formal call for murder, (sic)" Cedric O tweeted.
These Islamic terrorist attacks must stop: Trump
Among the countries that condemned the attack were Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Turkey, India, and the US. The Vatican said Pope Francis was praying for the victims. "Terrorism and violence can never be accepted," the statement read. US President Donald Trump tweeted, "These Radical Islamic terrorist attacks must stop immediately. No country, France, or otherwise can long put up with it!"
India stands with France, tweeted PM Modi
I strongly condemn the recent terrorist attacks in France, including today's heinous attack in Nice inside a church. Our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and the people of France. India stands with France in the fight against terrorism.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 29, 2020