Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is in the inglorious company of Muhammad Sa'id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla, the self-styled caliph of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group. This is as per a report on the world's 'most dangerous extremists' presented by the Counter Extremism Project (CEP).

Mahathir ranks 14 in the list of the world's top 20 most dangerous extremists. Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Palestinian group Hezbollah, is the most dangerous in the list. According to the report, Mahathir is anti-Semitic and a critic of the West. His remarks justifying the October 2020 terrorist attack in France seem to have hugely influenced his inclusion in the list of infamy.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad Wikimedia Commons

Huge Threat to International Security

CEP, a US-based group, says the list contains the names of people who are "considered a huge threat to international security." The list is a collection of extremists across a spectrum of ideologies and beliefs, the group says. The CEP, founded in 2014, is run by former US government officials. It's stated mission is to fight global extremism.

"Mahathir is not directly responsible for specific acts of violence. However, his controversial opinions have led to international condemnation as it was alleged Mahathir supported extremist violence against the West," the CEP said, according to the Today Online, published from Singapore.

The 95-year-old had said that Muslims have a right to "kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past". The irresponsible comment came following the killing of French teacher Samuel Paty over his use of cartoons of the Prophet. Though Mahathir explained that he did not approve of the killing, his comments were condemned throughout the world.

"Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past. But by and large the Muslims have not applied the 'eye for an eye' law. Muslims don't. The French shouldn't ... 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," Mahathir wrote.