On January 19, on her Instagram account dedicated to singing, the high school student talks to her subscribers in a live stream. During the stream, the teenager starts mocking Islam. Upset, one subscriber explodes with anger and insults Mila. Quickly, other internet users join in the hostilities: “Dirty white”, “French shit” and other religious imprecations: “Inshallah. Die, you dirty whore”, “Bitch, […] I hope you will burn in hell.”
Several personalities have defended an impious adolescent in the media denouncing her abandonment by the French political-media class.
Threatened with death as a result of her criticism, in particular, of Islam, the adolescent is currently in such danger that no educational establishment in France, for the time being, wants to accommodate her.
The Islamists are so powerful in France that the state can no longer protect their targets, according to the Richard Malka, lawyer of Charlie Hebdo and the young Mila. The latter, who openly criticized all religions, including Islam, has had to give up attending school. Worse still: she has been unable to find an establishment capable of ensuring her safety.
“The Ministry of Education is concerned about it, the rectorate is concerned about it, and is trying to find solutions – I am in no way questioning their good will – but the fact is that we cannot find an establishment in which the safety of this young girl will be assured today,” explained Richard Malka to BFM TV, on Thursday, January 29, saying that “it’s still dizzying”.
On January 18, French daily Le Monde reported that Mila had rejected a subscriber’s advances. Because she rejected the man, he called her a racist. The girl then said that she “rejected all religions” and responded that she was not at all racist.
She later added: “I hate religion, […] in the Quran there is only hatred in there, Islam is shit. […] I said what I thought about it, you are not going to make me regret it. There are still people who will get excited, I clearly don’t give a damn, I say what I want, what I think. Your religion is shit, your God, I put a finger in its asshole, thank you, goodbye.”
Some conservative public figures at least denounced the “disturbing double standard” that we see depending on the religion under attack. After Malka defended in a column published in Le JDD the “right to blasphemy”, Elisabeth Badinter, in a text published on February 1 in L’Express and co-signed by the eminent Élisabeth de Fontenay, Marcel Gauchet, Jacques Julliard and Jean-Pierre Le Goff, warned that the debate had taken a dangerous turn.
Their observation was very severe: “We will pay dearly for this cowardice,” they warned because Mila’s rant has forced her to drop out of school. “We can disagree with what the girl says, whether or not to appreciate her vocabulary, but nothing she says is illegal,” noted the signatories, recalling that the same was true for humorist Frédéric Fromet, whose song about Jesus at the microphone of France Inter sparked controversy.
The great difference however is that the teenager has been prosecuted for “provoking racial hatred”, while Frédéric Fromet never faced the same treatment.
The Mila affair has sent leftist politicians in a tailspin, with most expressing confused notions on the issue.
« La liberté, mais… », écrivions-nous hier avec @JeanGlavany. En voilà une nouvelle illustration, par @MartineAubry. A moins que ses propos n’aient pas été correctement rapportés par @lavoixdunord, quelle confusion mentale, encore une fois, à gauche ! #Mila pic.twitter.com/7CaPYGPVTc
— Gilles CLAVREUL (@GillesClavreul) February 1, 2020
The ex-ambassador of the Poles, Ségolène Royal, said she did not condone the behavior of the teenager threatened with death and harassed for her remarks on Islam, calling on her to show “respect”.
She has been the target of thousands of threats since her insulting remarks against Islam. When asked if she would support the hashtag #JesuisMila, Royal said: “Absolutely not!”
Royal was interviewed on France3 television on Sunday, February 2. She went so far as to criticize the teenager aged just 16 years, because she was being held up as the “paragon of freedom of expression”.
To the question “should freedom of speech on religions be total?” the ex-presidential candidate of 2007, became particularly confused: “There is a freedom to criticize religions, but I refuse to hold the debate on secularism based on the declarations of a 15-year-old girl, because it is not from behaviors like these that we can seriously debate the question of secularism.”
The schoolgirl, according Ségolène Royal, is perhaps experiencing “an adolescence crisis at the moment”.
“If she had said the same thing about her teacher, about her parents, about her neighbour, about her girlfriend, we would have simply said: ‘A little respect’.”
Thus, according to Royal, it is the poor education of young Mila that therefore explains her Islamophobic remarks. “Criticizing a religion does not prevent having respect, education, knowledge, being intelligent about what one says, and certainly does not warrant a teenager who lacks respect being held up as the paragon of freedom of expression,” she concluded.
Royal was not the only confused leftist to wade into the debate. “We can criticize a religion, but we do not have the right to criticize people who practice it,” said Martine Aubry during a Lille city council meeting.
Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet claimed that insulting religion was “against freedom of conscience”. The Minister told Europe 1 radio: “In a democracy, death threats are unacceptable (…) Insulting religion is obviously an attack on freedom of conscience, it is serious, but it has nothing to do with a death threat.” A former Socialist Minister said Belloubet should be given a “zero in constitutional law”.
Finally, Raquel Garrido, the former spokesperson for La France insoumise, said it was a “big diversion operation” on the part of the government in an attempt to make people forget the mobilization against pension reform.
Garrido, the ex-spokesperson for the leftist party, estimated that the Mila affair was used by the executive to divert attention from ongoing strikes, putting forward the notion of a conspiracy.
“Why are the government and the political elites taking up the religious question at this time?”asked Raquel Garrido. “It is so that we stop talking about the biggest social movement that our country has known since the post-war period,” she explained.
The laughter of the audience did not make Garrido budge. “You are accomplices, at your expense, of a great diversion operation,” she said.
If the theory according to which the French government is at the origin of the Mila affair seems indeed very improbable, it cannot be denied that the political attention on a subject so sensitive logically has the effect of giving less media space to pension reform.