French Teenager Forces Free Speech Debate Over Her Calling Islam A “Religion Of Hate”

We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here and here). A teenager has sparked a national debate about blasphemy in France after an Instagram post calling Islam a “religion of hate”. Indeed, France has emerged as one of the greatest threats to free speech in the West and we continue to face calls for European-style speech crimes, including calls by its President on the floor of the House of Representatives. Now a teenager in France has triggered a debate over its plunge into speech crimes and regulation after characterizing Islam as “a religion of hate.” She can now be criminally investigated for hate speech under the notorious French speech law.

On a January 18th live broadcast on her Instagram account, Mila, 16, was called a “dirty lesbian” by a Muslim commenter. She responded by saying “I hate religion. The Koran is a religion of hate” and using vulgarity against the religion. She added “I am not racist. You cannot be racist towards a religion. I said what I thought, you’re not going to make me regret it.”

Despite receiving death threats and being forced to forego school, she refused to back down and said that she “wanted to blaspheme”. She apologized if she was vulgar and said that she did not want to insult people who practice their religion “in peace,” but “I have absolutely no regrets about what I said, it was really my thought.”

When French justice minister Nicole Belloubet denounced this as an attack on religion and was “an attack on freedom of conscience”.

This is the inevitable result of speech codes and speech crimes. There is an insatiable appetite to use the criminal justice system to punish those who hold opposing views.

These laws criminalize speech under vague standards referring to “inciting” or “intimidating” others based on race or religion. For example, fashion designer John Galliano has been found guilty in a French court on charges of making anti-Semitic comments against at least three people in a Paris bar. At his sentencing, Judge Anne Marie Sauteraud read out a list of the bad words used by Galliano to Geraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgitti. “He said ‘dirty whore’ at least a thousand times,” she explained out loud.

In another case, the father of French conservative presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was fined because he had called people from the Roma minority “smelly”. A French mother was prosecuted because her son went to school with a shirt reading “I am a bomb.”

As I have previously discussed, the sad irony of France leading efforts to curb free speech is powerful. Once the bastion of liberty, France has now become one of the greatest international threats to free speech. It even led a crackdown on the free press with criminal investigations. Mila has vividly shown how France has replaced its rallying cry for liberty with a demand for conformity. Perhaps this teenager will awaken enough citizens to the scourge of speech codes and crimes.

42 thoughts on “French Teenager Forces Free Speech Debate Over Her Calling Islam A “Religion Of Hate””

  1. Reason, it is our ability to reason that separates from the animals, and yet no one asks the girl why she feels the way she does. Nobody mentions to the girl Christ and his mom are mentioned over 200 times in the Koran. Nobody mentions to the girl the fact that Muslims accept Christ and adhere to his teachings. Why? Have we lost our ability to reason with each other? Have we become less than human?

    1. Ask the girl why she feels that way? Why not ask the families of the thousands of people muslims have slaughtered and enslaved? What planet are you from to say something as foolish as “muslims adhere to the teachings of Christ”? That is truely one of the most ignorant things I’ve ever heard in my life and I lived through 8 years of Obama.

    2. Your very off the mark. You should really ask yourself why you think you know that? I spent my early 20’s in Afghanistan seeing nothing of what you speak. They do not care about Christians, that is funny.

      Many regions in the Middle East just miles apart from one another are self segregated. If you come into a village and do not speak the same dialect, you can find yourself getting killed very quickly.

      You speak from the privilege of never having been confronted with these facts.

    3. Muslims do not accept Christ as God. They consider him just another prophet. Mohammad claimed that he was predicted in the Bible. He took a particularly poor view of Jews because he was beaten and driven out when he tried to proselytize to them. After he came to power, he exacted a vengeance that has lasted for around a thousand years, as he encoded anti-semitism into the Qur’an. While Muslim majority countries treat Jews far worse, they also have a very long history of persecuting Christians. Paying the jizyah is just the start.

      I encourage you to read the Qur’an cover to cover. There are also websites that allow you to read it in chronological order. The traditional ordering by verse size really does not convey how his teachings drastically became more warlike and savage over time, as he gained armies, until they got to the point where he was demanding they kill Jews where they hid behind rocks.

      But, yes, free speech allows for a reasoned debate or discussion. Why should Islam be protected from critics declaring it should be reformed? What would it be like if no one was permitted to criticize the Catholic Church for its pedophilia scandals?

      Criticism leads to reform. There are parts of the Muslim faith that are painful for even moderate Muslims to discuss. How can Muslims be commanded to emulate Mohammad when he was a rapist, slaver, and warlord who killed people for not being Muslim, and demanded a global caliphate? How is it possible to reconcile that with modern Western values? It can’t, which is why moderates just ignore a large part of the Qur’an and don’t talk about it. Either it is the unchangeable direct word of Allah, or Mohammad was wrong about certain things. Both cannot simultaneously be true. That’s a difficult reality to face.

      If Islam were reformed to take out all the raping, pillaging, and antisemitism, the peace verses are beautiful.

      1. Christianity can be criticized (and often is) for its own internal contradictions. Deuteronomy demands the death penalty not just for sexual acts which many other religions have deplored and many still do, but for wearing wool and cotton blends and eating crustacean seafood. Jesus, quoted in Matthew 5:18 (NIV), says “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

        In other words, the founder of Christianity and Son of God stands by every punctuation mark and letter in the Book of Deuteronomy , every death sentence and regulation enabling slavery – we have Matthew’s word on that..

        I only mention this because I agree with you that constant criticism and reasoning prevent us from taking human life from those who eat shrimp po-boy sandwiches or wear comfortable wool blend fabric, or any of the other things forbidden to believing Jews, or Christians who pick and choose from the laws set forth in Deuteronomy for archaic laws to enforce. We Christians don’t agree among ourselves about where to draw the line on those things. But only a handful of places on Earth see Christians murdering each other over their interpretation of Scripture today.

        If adherents of Islam wish to hurl epithets at other people based on their interpretation of their faith, the French shouldn’t be surprised that one of their own responds by denouncing the religion used as a pretext to abuse her. Live by the Seventh Century’s morals and seek to impose them on others? Don’t be surprised when the 21st century disappoints and ostracizes you.

    4. I think all of us should stop worrying about what the ‘youngin’ are saying…they’re young, they change their opinion all the time, within minutes, and it is never well thought out, but accurate for their AGE…And I know teens, they’re in my building, I live with them, they’re a bunch of punks, which is GOOD and is exactly what they should be b/c they’re teens.

      It is up to the adults to regulate, and allow the teens to be teens.

      But censoring speech, in general, is a problem…it leads to more sinister forms of gov’t.

      But I guess if Frenchies want to be on the Chinese “Social Credit” system….have fun with that one! Headed down a long dark path.

    5. “Nobody mentions to the girl the fact that Muslims accept Christ and adhere to his teachings. Why? Have we lost our ability to reason with each other? Have we become less than human?”

      Askiing a 16 year-old to not answer abuse with abuse is aspirational at best, at worst it’s abusing the law. France’s constitutional principle of laïcisme forbids religion to involve itself in government and government to involve itself in religion. Young Mila is doubtless puzzled why she now is threatened by government for publicly denouncing a religion in which she doesn’t believe.

      But the story goes farther than that. A Muslim on her podcast called Mira “a dirty lesbian”. Whether that comment stemmed from the Muslim’s reading of the Koran or its commentaries, whether from its Christian syncretism or Islam’s other traditions is immaterial. Mira was suddenly confronted with religiously-endorsed intolerance. A law against hate speech which doesn’t recognize provocation by hate speech as a defense against prosecution is an unjust law. Reason left that conversation before Mira spoke.

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