Hero: Declaring blasphemy “is no crime,” French President Emmanuel Macron defends a young critic of Islam who has been receiving death threats and harassment on social media.
The Guardian reports:
Emmanuel Macron has waded into a row over a schoolgirl whose attack on Islam has divided France, insisting that blasphemy is “no crime”.
The French president defended the teenager, named only as Mila, who received death threats and was forced out of her school after filming an anti-religious diatribe on social media.
Last month, a French teenager identified as Mila made headlines in France after delivering an outspoken rant against Islam via Instagram. The teen was placed under police protection and forced to withdraw from school after angry defenders of Islam engaged in a horrific campaign of harassment, harassment which included multiple death threats.
Speaking out against the abuse Mila has suffered at the hands of those defending Islam, President Macron said:
In this debate we have lost sight of the fact that Mila is an adolescent. We owe her protection at school, in her daily life, in her movements.
Later Macron declared:
The law is clear: we have the right to blaspheme, to criticize, to caricature religions.
Macron is correct. Blasphemy is a right in France under French law. But more importantly, blasphemy is a human right. In fact, often blasphemy can be understood as a civic duty and a moral obligation in the preservation of liberty.
Indeed, it is the moral obligation of clear thinking, reasonable people to stand up and speak out against religious superstition and ignorance, even if that resistance constitutes blasphemy in the mind of the believer.
Blasphemy is defined as the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for a religious deity, or showing irreverence towards religious or holy persons or things.
However, a lack of reverence for religious nonsense is often a sane and healthy response to the irrational. While individuals who have fallen victim to religious delusion may deserve pity and empathy, the nonsense that makes up the stuff of religious belief deserves no such concern.In fact, most reasonable people recognize that religious belief constitutes a clear and present danger to the human species. Currently it is dangerous, even deadly, in many parts of the world to express the simple fact that there is no convincing evidence for God, or to draw a picture of a certain holy figure.
Adding insult to injury, many Muslim dominated countries punish blasphemy. For example, in Saudi Arabia, atheists are considered terrorists, and atheism is prosecuted as a crime, with lengthy prison sentences or death for anyone “calling for atheist thought” or “calling into question the fundamentals of Islam.”
Such a state of affairs is an affront to humanity, and should be both intolerable and repugnant to all good people.
Blasphemy laws represent an immoral and unjust infringement upon religious liberty and freedom of conscience that often legitimizes vigilantism, mob violence, and the persecution of minorities.
Blasphemy laws not only violate the human right to freedom of expression; they also protect religious beliefs and practices, as well as religious institutions and leaders, from legitimate, and often necessary, criticism. As such, any attempt to prohibit blasphemy should be of deep concern to all those who cherish free-speech, rational thought, and civilized society.
Bottom line: Doing the right thing, French President Emmanuel Macron declares blasphemy “is no crime” while defending a young critic of Islam who has been receiving death threats and harrassment on social media.