Government leaders all over Europe express their condolences to the French. In Nice three people were killed in a terror attack. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad wrote that Muslims have the right to murder the French. That message was removed by Twitter.
European government leaders have condemned the deadly attack at a church in Nice. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, among others, reacted shocked to the violence. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also expressed his condolences via Twitter. Government leaders pledge to assist France in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European President Charles Michel also condemn the violence. “My heart is with France,” von der Leyen wrote on Twitter. At the request of journalists, they defend free speech and mutual respect for religious beliefs.
“Freedom of speech and thought are fundamental to our democracies and our freedoms,” Charles Michel replied to a question about Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures. ‘At the same time, we must ensure that mutual understanding and respect is not encouraged. But we have to share our values with absolute determination and fight those who want to put them in danger. ‘ Commission President von der Leyen added: “We must be clear: we will never accept the violence that hides behind a belief, because the faith is peaceful and promotes unity.”
Domestically, the plenary session of the House held a minute of silence in tribute to the victims of the knife attack in Nice. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo once again stressed that he was shoulder to shoulder with France in the fight against terror. The threat level is not adjusted.
The Executive of the Muslims of Belgium (EMB) and the Coordination Council of the Islamic Institutions of Belgium (CIB) express with one voice ‘their deep dismay at the tragedy that is once again affecting France’. “The EMB and the CIB condemn these attacks with the greatest force,” they declare in a joint press release. They call for unity and solidarity in society and express their condolences to families and victims. They “direct their prayers for support of the entire French people.”
Matteo Bruni, the Vatican’s spokesman, calls the attack on Notre-Dame Basilica a “moment of pain in a time that is already very confusing anyway.” According to Bruni, Pope Francis prays for the victims and their loved ones. ‘We will never be able to accept terrorism and violence’, it still sounds.
Tweet removed from Malaysian ex-Prime Minister
Twitter has removed a message from former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in which he writes that Muslims have the right to kill the French. Mahathir, who was Prime Minister from 2018 to March 1, 2020, referred to the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty, but said nothing about the Nice attack earlier in the day.
The deleted tweet said, “Muslims have the right to be angry and to kill millions of French for all the past massacres.” In another report, 95-year-old Mahathir wrote that throughout history the French have “killed millions of people, many of them Muslims.”
Initially, Twitter added a warning to the message stating that the tweet violated the rule of “ glorifying violence, ” but that it may have been in the public interest for the tweet to remain accessible. The message was later removed anyway.
In the other messages that Mahathir sent to his 1.3 million followers, he wrote that Muslims have the right to punish the French because France has blamed all Muslims for the act of one person. He referred to the recent murder of Paty by a Muslim extremist. He also tweeted that the French should “teach their children how to respect the feelings of others.”
The ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia has already been discredited with statements about Jews and gays in the past.
Iran condemns the violence
The Islamic republic of Iran also disapproves of the violence. “We strongly condemn today’s terror attack in #Nice,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter.
“This vicious circle, which is getting worse – hate speech, provocations, violence – must make way for reason and common sense,” the minister pleaded. “We must recognize that radicalism produces even more radicalism and that peace cannot be achieved through malicious provocations,” said Zarif.