Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was criticized Thursday after posting a series of tweets that seemed to justify the actions of recent terror attacks in France, including a Thursday attack that left three dead in a church.
As part of the series of tweets, Mohamad indicated that historical abuses of France against Muslims justified Islamic anger and killings.
"Muslims have a right to be angry," wrote Mohamad in a now-deleted tweet in the series, "and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past."
Mohamad began his tirade with a message to "respect others" and made reference to the October 16 murder of French teacher Samuel Paty for showing caricatures of Islam's founder Mohammed as part of his class on freedom of expression.
While the prime minister said he does not approve of the killing, he argued that free speech does not apply when you "go up to a man and curse him."
Mohamad discussed his opinion on the differences between the West and Islamic nations before taking aim at French leader Emmanuel Macron, accusing him of "blaming the religion of Islam" for the death of the school teacher.
Mohamad gave no historical context for his claims.
Demonstrations have erupted across the Muslim world following comments from Prime Minister Macron, who said earlier this month that Islam was facing a "crisis" and needed to build an "Islam of Enlightenment" to reach more democratic ideals and combat "separatism."
"Islam is a religion which is experiencing a crisis today, all over the world," said Macron.
Other leaders of Muslim nations have criticized Macron as well. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan even called for a total boycott of French products.
"The rising Islamophobia in the West has turned into a whole-scale attack on our book, our prophet, and everything we consider holy", said Erdogan. "Relocations, inquisitions, and genocides towards members of different religions is not a practice that is foreign to Europe."
Mohamad ended his tweets with a reference to the boycott, but said it "cannot compensate" for French wrongdoing against Muslims and that "Muslims have a right to punish the French."
"Since you have blamed all Muslims and the Muslims' religion for what was done by one angry person, the Muslims have a right to punish the French," he wrote. "The boycott cannot compensate the wrongs committed by the French all these years."