Paris, France – Some of France’s top politicians, including President Emmanuel Macron, have defended a teenage girl who received death threats last month after posting a live broadcast on social media attacking Islam. The post has reignited a national debate about blasphemy, which has been legal in France for centuries.
“The law is clear: We have the right to blasphemy, to criticise, to caricature religions,” Macron said in an interview with Le Dauphine Libere newspaper on Wednesday. “The republican order is not a moral order … what is outlawed is to incite hatred and attack dignity.”
The controversy started in late January when a 16-year-old, only known as Mila, began speaking about her homosexuality during a live makeup tutorial on her Instagram account.
Recounting what had played out later on French television, Mila says one commentator started hitting on her during her Instagram broadcast. After responding she was a lesbian and that “black and Arabs” weren’t her type, Mila received a slew of insults, with one Muslim commentator calling her a “dirty lesbian”.
In response, Mila launched a verbal tirade against Islam, stating “I hate religion. The Quran is a religion of hate.”