Canada's Justin Trudeau condemns France attacks but says free speech has limits

WION Web Team Ottawa, Canada Oct 31, 2020, 07.37 AM(IST) Oct 31, 2020, 08.18 AM(IST)

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a meeting with Conservative Party leader and Leader of the Official Opposition Andrew Scheer on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario Canada November 12, 2019. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Trudeau was careful in framing his responses, especially after seeing the outrage against the French President Emmanuel Macron after his statements about the repeated attacks in France being a result of 'Islamist radicalism'

While talking about the right to show a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau while defending 'free speech' said it is important but it sure does come with limits.

His statement about free speech was related to the recent controversy surrounding the cartoon printed and re-printed by the Charlie Hebdo magazine in France and said Canada will always "defend freedom of expression".

However, Trudeau was careful in framing his responses, especially after seeing the outrage against the French President Emmanuel Macron after his statements about the repeated attacks in France being a result of "Islamist radicalism". 

Also read| Posters of Emmanuel Macron pasted on road in Mumbai, police remove them

"Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world today, we are not just seeing this in our country," Macron had said, after which he has faced several harsh criticisms from organisations, political leaders and individuals worldwide, combined with another terror attack in the country.

Learning from Macron's mistake, Trudeau distanced himself from any direct statement in the press conference and said freedom of expression does not come without limits. "We owe it to ourselves to act with respect for others and to seek not to arbitrarily or unnecessarily injure those with whom we are sharing a society and a planet," Trudeau said.

"We do not have the right for example to shout fire in a movie theatre crowded with people, there are always limits," he added.

He also urged people to be more aware of their words and actions towards fellow humans. "In a pluralist, diverse and respectful society like ours, we owe it to ourselves to be aware of the impact of our words, of our actions on others, particularly these communities and populations who still experience a great deal of discrimination," he said. Trudeau also added that people need to have these complex conversations in a very responsible way.

He also openly condemned the attacks saying, "it is unjustifiable and Canada wholeheartedly condemns these acts while standing with our French friends who are going through extremely difficult times," he said.

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