“We will always defend freedom of expression,” said Justin Trudeau, in response to a question about the right to caricature the Prophet Muhammad, as did Charlie Hebdo.
“But freedom of expression is not without limits”, argued the Canadian Prime Minister at a press conference. “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 cry fire in a cinema crowded with people, there are always limits”, argued the head of government.
“Cautious” use of freedom of expression
Distancing himself from the position of French President Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau pleaded for a “cautious” use of freedom of expression. “In a pluralist, diverse and respectful society like ours, we owe it to ourselves to be aware of the impact of our words, our actions on others, particularly these communities and populations who still experience a great deal of discrimination”, he pleaded.
As he had done the day before with the leaders of the European Union, the Prime Minister wished to condemn the recent “dreadful and appalling” terrorist attacks in France. “It is unjustifiable and Canada wholeheartedly condemns these acts while always standing with our French friends who are going through extremely difficult times,” he insisted.
Three people were stabbed to death on Thursday in a church in Nice, southern France, by a man who was apprehended. These attacks come amid anger in the Middle East against France and President Emmanuel Macron, vilified for having defended the right to publish cartoons in France.