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Agencies
November 1, 2020

Trudeau says freedom of expression not without limits

National

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Agencies
November 1, 2020

OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said that while free speech is a fundamental right, it is "not without limits" and must not abritrarily or unnecessarily hurt those in our communities.

"We will always defend freedom of expression," Trudeau said in response to a question about blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as France's Charlie Hebdo magazine did, is justified. "But freedom of expression is not without limits," he added. "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." "We do not have the right for example to shout fire in a movie theatre crowded with people, there are always limits," he argued.

Distancing himself from the position of French President Emmanuel Macron — who has refused to "give up depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) — Trudeau pleaded for a careful use of free speech. "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.