'Blasphemy Is No Crime' Macron Defends French Teen Threatened Over Anti-Islam Rant

Published February 13th, 2020 - 03:31 GMT
16-year-old Mila received a slew of death threats for calling Islam "a shitty religion"
16-year-old Mila received a slew of death threats for calling Islam "a shitty religion"

President Emmanuel Macron has defended a French teenager who received death threats after an expletive-laden Instagram rant against Islam, saying the right to blaspheme was enshrined in the constitution and she needs to be protected.

This happened after 16-year-old Mila received a slew of death threats for calling Islam "a shitty religion," prompting her family to be put under police protection and meant she could no longer attend her school in southeast France.

The incident has revived debates in France about freedom of speech and again showed divisions in the country.

The government has largely distanced itself from remarks by Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet who declared the death threats received by Mila were "unacceptable in a democracy" but added her remarks about Islam were "clearly an infringement on freedom of conscience."

"We have forgotten that Mila is an adolescent," Macron said in a statement.

"We owe her protection at school, in her daily life and when she moves around. The state has assumed its responsibilities."

Macron added that children needed to be better protected against "new forms of hate and harassment online." 

He stressed that according to the law, people “have the right to blaspheme, to criticise and to caricature religions." 

The controversy has come just over five years after a group of French cartoonists from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were gunned down by jihadist gunmen after poking fun at the Prophet Mohammed.


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