Update: After this story posted, Twitter issued an alert to Mohamad’s tweet saying it “violated the Twitter rules about glorifying violence,” but that the platform “determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad posted a thread of tweets early Thursday in which he justified Muslims ‘killing millions of French people’ as a form of revenge. The tweet comes as news continues to develop surrounding a terrorist attack on churchgoers in Nice, France on Thursday that killed three people and injured many others. News from the attack is still developing.
Twitter’s Head of Site Integrity Yoel Roth didn’t immediately respond to this reporter’s request for comment via Twitter Direct Message in which he was asked:
‘Does the following tweet by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia violate Twitter rules? Also, does Twitter plan to remove the tweet over its incitement of violence, especially considering the context of the terrorist attack in France?’
On Wednesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified before the Senate Commerce Committee where he said the speech of world leaders, including the incitement and antisemitism by Iran’s Ali Khamenei, is typically protected as “saber rattling.” Dorsey also admitted that Holocaust denial doesn’t violate Twitter’s rules.
The terrorist who carried out Thursday’s brutal attack in Nice shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic, as he carried out the attack, according to reports.
The attack comes amid growing tension between French President Emmanuel Macron and leaders of Muslim countries over cartoons circulating around France of the Prophet Muhammad. Macron defends the publication of such cartoons and has condemned the many Muslim nations pushing a boycott of French goods in response.
Thursday’s attack also comes just days after a Paris teacher, Samuel Paty, was beheaded for showing cartoons of Muhammad to his class.
The former Malaysian PM said he didn’t approve of the beheading of Paty, but said “Muslims have the right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past” and added that the Muslim countries’ boycott of French products amid the dispute with Macron “cannot compensate the wrongs committed by the French all these years.”
The following is his threat that remains on Twitter:
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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”
Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.
Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.
At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.
“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”
“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”
This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”
During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.
“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”
“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”
Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.
Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.
“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”
Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.
“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”
He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.
Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”
“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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