According to a New York based Counter Extremism Project (CEP), Mahathir Mohammed, an inclusion of the 2019 TIME’s 100 list, has been listed among the “top 20 most dangerous extremists”.
The non-profit that combats the “growing threat” from extremist ideologies by “pressuring financial and material support networks, countering the narrative of extremists and their online recruitment, and advocating for smart laws, policies, and regulations”, had released to list over the week that also “highlights the last known location, deaths attributed to these harbingers of terror” and analyses “the influence these extremists have had over their group” and followers.
“CEP has considered extremists from across the spectrum of ideologies and beliefs, from ISIS to the Muslim Brotherhood, and the anti-Muslim Buddhist group in Myanmar to Generation Identity, all are considered a huge threat to international security,” the New York-based nonprofit said in its report.
The list also mentioned of the likes of Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, a designated a terrorist organisation, Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla, the current ISIS caliph, along with three women that includes Beate Zschäpe, a member of the neo-Nazi terrorist organization National Socialist Underground.
So why was Mahathir listed?
It all lies down to “controversial opinions” that led to “international condemnation” even though the he was not directly responsible for acts of violence.
“…his controversial opinions have led to international condemnation as it was alleged Mahathir supported extremist violence against the West,” CEP wrote.
Nice attacks and to “kill the French”
Back in October 2019, the 95 year old leader had sparked wide criticism after his infamous “Muslim have the rights to kill French” Twitter thread.
Mahathir’s statements came after three people were killed in Nice, France where he had also mentioned “angry people will kill regardless of the religion they profess”.
The former prime minister, however, did not make a direct reference to the attack in Nice and had addressed the beheading of a history teacher that happened in Paris instead.
He later issued a statement, saying that he was taken “out of context”.