A 16-year-old French high school student has been told to go into hiding after receiving several death threats for insulting Islam on social media.
Mila, from Lyon, in eastern France, shared a series of short Instagram videos in response to what she said was online homophobic and racist abuse from religious fanatics.
The teenager, who regularly posts videos of herself singing on her Instagram profile, told those who were abusing her that she hated religion, there was nothing but hate in the Islamic holy book and that Islam itself was sh*t.
She subsequently received a torrent of abuse, alongside a number of serious death threats, that has led to her requiring a police escort.
Mila, pictured above, shared a video on social media ranting about her distaste for religion, a video that has subsequently gone viral and lead to her receiving death threats
The high-school student is also reportedly no longer able to set foot inside her school in the city in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region and fears the incident will put an end to her dreams of a singing career.
‘I can no longer set foot in my high school, and I can’t even change my high school because it’s the whole of France that wants me dead,’ she told feminist publication Bellica.
The threats came about after Mila, who loves singing and whose profile is adorned with an LGBT flag, was talking with her followers on Instagram and one of them reportedly began harassing her.
After rebuffing the follower’s advances, he reportedly began insulting her with homophobic attacks and accusations of racism.
Then the attacks took a religious tone, with some users reportedly accusing Mila of insulting ‘our God Allah, the one and only’ and hoping that she would ‘burn in hell.’
It is then that Mila decided to post footage criticising religion in general and Islam.
People on Twitter have been split between those slamming the teen and those defending her right to freedom of speech – even if opposed to the sentiment. This twitter user has indicated his displeasure of what the teen said, saying her defiant words that she would have no regrets could only end badly for her
‘I hate religion, […] there is nothing but hate in the Koran, Islam is sh*t, that’s what I think,’ she said in the videos.
‘I am not racist, not at all. You cannot be racist towards a religion. I said what I thought, you will not 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.’
French media point out that under French law, Mila has done nothing illegal, there being no restrictions on ‘blasphemy’ in France.
Mila told feminist site Bellica: ‘I have not insulted anyone, nor threatened anyone, nor called for violence against anyone. What I did was blasphemy, general criticism of religions, and nothing else.’
Mila’s initial comments made on January 19 were shared in Instagram stories, that disappear after 24 hours.
However, they were recorded and reposted on various social media platforms by tens of thousands of users.
People commenting online are split between those who have defended her right to free speech, and those who have slammed the French schoolgirl, with some going so far as to issue threats to her life.
According to French newspaper Liberation, the head of Mila’s high school has flagged the incident to the prosecutor’s office.
Local media report that the local education authority has said that ‘the young girl is in security’, and that she has been provided with ‘physical and psychological support.’
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