French President: Blasphemy is no crime & religion can be mocked

French President: Blasphemy is no crime & religion can be mocked February 13, 2020

FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron has added his voice to the thousands who have spoken out in defence of a schoolgirl forced into hiding after she criticised Islam.

‘Mila’ and Macron. Images via Instagram and YouTube

According to the Guardian Macron, in  defending the girl identified only as “Mila”,  insisted that blasphemy:

Is no crime. The law is clear: we have the right to blaspheme, to criticise, to caricature religions …what is outlawed is to incite hatred and attack dignity.

The case has sparked a furious public debate in France, a strictly secular republic with a large Muslim population.

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.

The President added that in finding a new school for Mila, “the state has fulfilled its responsibilities” and that children needed to be “better protected” against:

New forms of hatred and harassment online that can be destructive.

Mila, 16, from near Lyon, became a cause célèbre in January after she made a live broadcast on her Instagram account in which she spoke about being gay. A Muslim commentator responded she was a “dirty lesbian” and a “dirty whore”. She responded by posting a video diatribe against Islam.

Her outburst sparked death threats and social media users posted her personal information online, including where she was attending school. The public prosecutor has opened an investigation for “death threats, threats to commit a crime and harassment” against her attackers and a separate inquiry into whether she had “provoked religious hatred”, which is punishable by French law.

Abdallah Zekri, general delegate of the French Council for the Muslim Faith (CFCM), told French radio:

This girl knows exactly what she has done … they who sow, reap.

Zekri added that the teenager’s comments were not covered by freedom of expression but were insulting and provocative.

But Mohammed Moussaoui, the new head of the CFCM, said criticism of Islam had to be accepted and no remarks justified death threats.

We have to accept all the debates and refuse all violence.

Mila has appeared on French television to say she did not regret the video and to defend the right to blaspheme. She also apologised to those who practise their religion “in peace”.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen  also defended the teenager, saying what she said:

May be considered vulgar, but we cannot accept that, in 21st century France, some condemn her to death.

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • WallofSleep

    This girl knows exactly what she has done … they who sow, reap.

    Yeah Zekri, you can go eat a big, fat…

  • Richard Sanderson

    A number of atheists/humanists/skeptics have defended/enabled blasphemy in the past, especially after the Charlie Hebdo murders. Particularly the regressive PZ types.

  • Raging Bee

    So…you had to come here and insult PZ because no one else was doing it…?

  • Raging Bee

    Dear Offended Religious People: Please stop the hypocrisy. The right to offend is not solely yours.

  • Broga

    Would blasphemy have the same meaning for a Muslim as for a Roman Catholic? Her “crime” seems to be that she is gay. Meanwhile, in the UK we have Cardinal Nichols, top honcho for the RCs, “explaining” on the main BBC Radio News morning programme why the Pope didn’t follow through on his apparent intention to accept non celibate priests. Nichols was as shifty and oleaginous as ever and at the end of being indulged by the gentle interviewer I don’t know what he meant. Except that the Pope made the right decision whatever that was.

    I know others are fans of Nichols classy performances in saying sod all but appearing to say something. But why is he allowed the freedom of the BBC to say nothing? A representative from the National Secular Society would even things up – or the brilliant Stephen Fry, gay himself and understandably a bit tender at RC attitudes, who did a demolition job on RC Anne Widdicombe. I think Widders may now have entered show biz via some dancing competition.

  • Chris Hogue

    Zekri added that the teenager’s comments were not covered by freedom of expression but were insulting and provocative.

    Insulting & provocative. These are perfect descriptors for any religion.

  • guerillasurgeon

    I was thought that to commit blasphemy you actually had to be a member of the particular religion you are blaspheming against?

  • Raging Bee

    Her “crime” seems to be that she is gay.

    AND that she said so in public without shame; AND that she criticized the religion whose followers were threatening her.

  • kaydenpat

    Zekri (and his ilk) needs to be confronted for his stance. There’s no justification for threats of violence. Period.

  • kaydenpat

    Apparently not.

  • Norman Parron

    I could show them real blasphemy but the filter would stop it!

  • kaydenpat
  • Broga

    Right. She showed courage and principle and instead of being respected, if not admired, she is threatened.

  • Broga

    “Zekri added that the teenager’s comments were not covered by freedom of expression but were insulting and provocative.”

    Really! Not as provocative as your comments are to me. From the safety of whatever sewer you inhabit you support an attack on a young, and brave girl. You are also a fool because your comments besmirch the very religion you aspire to defend.

  • Broga

    Tempting, isn’t it?

  • Broga

    What is a PZ type? I don’t know what PZ means. OK. I’m ignorant but eager to learn.

  • Raging Bee

    He’s referring to PZ Myers, one of the more famous atheist bloggers at FreeThoughtBlogs. Sanderson seems to have a longstanding hate-on for PZ, not exactly sure why; and as a result he can’t stop himself from trying to bash PZ whenever his name comes up…or in this case, without even waiting for the hated unholy name to come up.

    As for what a “PZ type” is, I have no idea, but it probably includes me — he keeps on calling me a “minion” of PZ, even though I haven’t even looked at his blog in years.

  • Wisdom, Justice, Love

    I’m amazed at the gods that have super powers also have DELICATE, FRAGILE egos. Or at least their worshipers do.

  • Broga

    Many thanks for the explanation. I would be flattered to be a “PZ type”.

  • Callace

    Nah, the Almighty has a lot more fragile ego than that. He gets injured by everyone who doesn’t believe in him.

  • persephone

    Deportation seems appropriate.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    So, call him to testify. If he doesn’t show up – CASE DISMISSED !

  • Callace

    He is otherwise engaged, but sends a representative…

  • kaydenpat

    Or make it clear that France is a secular democracy and death threats for blasphemy or mocking religion will not be accepted. I’d charge him with a hate crime, at the least since he’s arguing that Mila deserves death threats because of her speech.

  • Meurig ap Gweirydd

    If your ‘god’ is so weak he can’t prevent blasphemy and punish blasphemers without human assistance what does that say about its alleged omnipotence? Just how weak and feeble is it?

  • Richard Sanderson

    An accused rapist?

    Sure, but not around me.

  • Richard Sanderson

    I call you one because you leap to his defence, all the time.

  • Right, the same PZ Myers who’s had multiple posts denouncing blasphemy laws. But you did use the term enabled, by which I’, assuming you mean he hasn’t called for mass suppression of Muslims, or something.

  • David Heath

    But, but, but… Jesus appeared on a piece of toast. and that cloud did seem to look a little bit like him… isn’t that enough for you?

  • Jim Jones

    And no powers to act, ever.

  • Jim Jones

    Zekri, meet bullet. Bullet, meet Zekri.

  • TrickyDicky

    I have heard he is engaged with a project in China.

  • Lauren Greene

    Also insecure and thin-skinned…

  • kaydenpat

    Can you cite any sources for your claim that he’s an accused rapist?

  • Raging Bee

    Thanks for proving my point. Now go back to bed.

  • Sanderson has a huge man-crush on PZ and desperately wants Senpai to notice him.

  • Raging Bee

    I do not understand that reference, but a friend of mine says he does.

  • EllyR
  • WallofSleep

    I had something more salacious in mind, but that will work just as well.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Blasphemy is no crime & religion can be mocked”

    Correct. And if not mocked it can be questioned or dismissed as nonsense.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Not true. The god of the Bible has been known ( claimed) to act ( sometimes) when people pray to him for things that COULD happen without his taking any action.

    So pray that your friend’s amputated limb regrows & nothing happens? God will not answer your prayer because it is not the will of god.
    Pray you find your missing car keys & you find them? God has answered your prayer.

  • Deist1737

    It seems all of the “revealed” religions have blasphemy rules and want society to have blasphemy laws because what they teach is nonsense and cannot be defended rationally. Therefore they resort to silencing critics through charges of blasphemy. This makes very clear just how weak and foolish their teachings are. I hope no harm comes to her. In The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition, the Deist Thomas Paine makes the point that the “revealed” religions blaspheme against God by portraying God as a genocidal jealous fool. I agree with Tom Paine!

    Progress! Bob Johnson

  • Dhammarato Atheist
  • BlueSurgeon

    “This girl knows exactly what she has done … they who sow, reap.”

    I have no sympathy for Muslims who feel offended by what she has written nor for the girl who wrote it. She is a typical stupid teenage girl. She spouted her stuff on social media without any thought of the consequences, such as being identified. Now her life will have to change because wherever she goes she will be identified. It happens all the time. Teenagers, eh?

  • Raging Bee

    Take your lazy “equivalency” tripe, your mindless victim-blaming, and your indifference toward innocent people, and shove it back where it came from.

  • Raging Bee

    As his comment reminds us, Sanderson is basically an MRA who got massively upset by lots of uppity women attacking certain atheist “leaders,” such as Shermer, for raping or otherwise sexually harassing them. And that lot seem to reserve special hate for PZ because he supported the women (several of whom had spoken to him directly), and used his platform to publicize the issue. And he’s trying to use PZ’s admission that he himself had been felsely (and half-assedly) accused of rape, as some kind of proof that he’s a hypocrite, or women should never be believed, or something.