The Minister of Justice, Nicole Belloubet, attracted many critics within the political class on Wednesday for having suggested that insulting religion was an offense, which is not the case in France. “The insult to religion is obviously an attack on freedom of conscience. This is serious, "said the Keeper of the Seals at the microphone of Europe 1, Wednesday morning.
"What is the most serious crime between insulting a religion and threatening to kill someone," was questioned just before journalist Sonia Mabrouk, who implicitly was referring to the case of Mila, a teenage girl investigation for "provocation to racial hatred" after insulting Islam in videos posted on the Internet.
The parquet floor of Vienna, in Isère, opened in parallel another investigation, on the death threats of which Mila was the object following his remarks. In response to the question from the interviewer from Europe 1, Nicole Belloubet began by mentioning this aspect of the case: “In a democracy, the threat of death is unacceptable. "
But it is his sentence on the insult to religion that retained the political leaders who have been wrangling the Keeper of the Seals since Wednesday morning. “Can we count on the government of Emmanuel Macron to defend our values and our freedoms? Clearly, the answer is NO! Reacted Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally, on Twitter.
"The Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet derails at the microphone of Europe 1 by inventing a crime of blasphemy which threatens freedom of expression", abounded Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, president of Debout la France.
Minister of Justice Nicole #Belloubet derails at the microphone of # Europe1 by inventing a crime of blasphemy that threatens freedom of expression. In fact, she finds extenuating circumstances for those who threatened the death of young #Mila for her comments on # Islam. pic.twitter.com/uONvSAva9f- N. Dupont-Aignan (@dupontaignan) January 29, 2020
Rarer, some voices from the left. "What could have happened in our country so that a minister of the Republic could say that the insult against a religion is a serious attack on freedom of conscience ? Asks the socialist MEP Emmanuel Maurel.
Faced with controversy, the Minister of Justice defended herself a few hours later at the microphone of BFMTV, believing that her "expression could have been awkward or lapidary".
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“What I wanted to say has two things. On the one hand, I did not want to question the right to criticize religion of course. On the other hand, I wanted to say that in our democracy, discrimination or insults on the grounds of religious affiliation are offenses which can be serious because they lead to hatred and rejection of the other ”, a she added.