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"I am Mila": the case of a teenager threatened with death revives the debate on blasphemy


A 16-year-old schoolgirl has been massively harassed for several days after insults against Islam. She was temporarily out of school

We had not seen such a cabal since the Mennel affair, this young candidate of a telecrochet, of Muslim faith and accused of Holocaust denial. This time the object of all attacks or defenses is called Mila.

For the past three days, this 16-year-old teenager from Isère has been the victim of a cyberbullying campaign after comments hostile to Islam. "I hate religion, the Koran is a religion of hate […] Your religion is shit, your God I put a finger in my asshole, thank you goodbye", can we notably heard in videos posted on Instagram.

Faced with the surge of death threats - there are hundreds, and the revelation of her identity and address, the authorities have chosen to temporarily drop the girl from her high school. Specific psychological support will also be provided.

Two open investigations, including one for "provocation of racial hatred"

This case relaunches the debate around the “crime of blasphemy”. This notion, which does not exist in French law, is regularly discussed, especially after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015. Marine Le Pen, like many far-right political leaders, has also assumed the comparison between Mila and the satirical newspaper. "The words of this young girl are the oral description of Charlie's cartoons, no more no less," she wrote on Twitter.

The public prosecutor of Vienne (Isère) surprised the defenders of Mila by deciding to open two separate investigations in this case. One to identify the perpetrators of these "threats and crimes" with the help of gendarmes specializing in cybercrime. And a second about the minor for “provocation to racial hatred”. The objective? Identify potential reprehensible remarks that do not fall under freedom of expression, "a principle with constitutional value".

"A strict response to lesbophobic and misogynistic harassment"

Mila explained her words in the columns of Liberation and in a blog close to the far right (Bellicca). For her, it all started with a live video in which she escapes a man who was trying to flirt with her. “I didn't want to answer him simply because I don't like being asked my age repeatedly. It's annoying. He started to insult me, ”she says. In a second video, after receiving insults and threats from several individuals, the tone rises even further with a surfer. “A guy started to get excited: to call us dirty lesbians, racists. Then the subject started to slide on religion, so I said what I thought about it. "

Since then, the young woman, targeted as a lesbian, is overwhelmed by homophobic, racist or sexist insults. "Go die in hell big dirty lesbian whore", "dirty French", "French shit" ... All ask him to apologize. What she still wouldn't have done at the moment. At least that's what the manager of the Bellica blog, Solveig Mineo, says to the Parisian.

The one who does not hide her ideas against the veil and immigration tells the Parisian that the girl's parents asked her to remain silent. Pending in particular to find a lawyer. "His statements on Islam are a strict response to extremely violent lesbophobic and misogynistic harassment […] This is what a young girl risks in 2020 for having said no to a boy," protests Solveig Mineo.

"A context of exacerbation of tensions around Islam and Islamism"

Nicolas Cadène, general rapporteur of the Observatoire de la laïcité, recalls the law in this matter. “The offense of blasphemy does not exist in France. You can insult a religion, but not citizens because of their religious affiliation ”. In 2002, the writer Michel Houellebecq was, for example, released after having called Islam "the most stupid religion in the world". "Recently, a columnist from France Inter was pinned for the same thing (he sang" Jesus is a PD "Editor's note). In both cases, the camps roared with scandal. But the risk of conviction is minimal, ”adds Nicolas Cadène.

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The Islamologist Rachid Benzine also regrets the extent of the Mila case, and the torrent of death threats that followed. "The expression is unhappy. But that remains a teenage word, ”comments the researcher associated with the Paul Ricoeur fund. "The sacredness of some is not the sacredness of others, but French law is more than enough," he told the Parisian.

Source: leparis

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