Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who served twice served as the 4th and 7th prime minister of Malaysia, is one of the “top 20 most dangerous extremists” in the world, according to Counter Extremism Project (CEP)
A New York-based nonprofit organisation, CEP says it 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”.
Over the week, CEP released its list of “the 20 most dangerous extremists on the planet”.
According to CEP, the list “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.
CEP, in what is its first-ever list since being founded in 2014, has listed Dr Mahathir along with terrorists, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists
According to the New York-based nonprofit, that was started by former US government officials, the former prime minister is “a controversial figure” and “often criticised the West, LGBT people, and Jewish people”.
The list, a copy of its report has been accessed by SAYS, includes Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, a designated a terrorist organisation by several governments in the West, and Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla, who is the current ISIS caliph, along with three women including Beate Zschäpe, a member of the neo-Nazi terrorist organisation National Socialist Underground.
According to CEP, while Dr Mahathir is “not directly” responsible for specific acts of violence, the former prime minister has “controversial opinions”, which have led to “international condemnation”
“…his controversial opinions have led to international condemnation as it was alleged Mahathir supported extremist violence against the West,” CEP wrote in its report.
In describing Dr Mahathir’s influence, the nonprofit said that he is “a respected leader in the Muslim world. He is a strident critic of Israel and has been accused of being anti-Semitic”.
In October last year, the 95-year-old leader sparked huge outrage with his claim that Muslims have “a right to be angry and kill millions of French people” as it would be for “the massacres of the past”
Importantly, though, Dr Mahathir noted that despite his personal belief system, “by and large the Muslims have not applied the ‘eye for an eye’ law. Muslims don’t. The French shouldn’t”.
According to Mahathir, angry people will kill regardless of the religion they profess.
Dr Mahathir’s statements came after three people were killed in Nice, France.
The former prime minister, however, did not make a direct reference to the attack in Nice. Instead, he addressed the beheading of a history teacher that happened in Paris.
He would later issue a statement, saying what he wrote was taken “out of context”.
Speaking of dangerous extremists, US President Donald Trump has been permanently banned from Twitter after he incited a mob of white supremacists to attack the US Capitol, leading to five deaths