AFTER shock Terror attacks in France that saw the beheading of a teacher in Paris Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed that freedom of expression has ‘limits’.
He stated the comment during a press conference, whereby when asked whether Muhammad should be allowed to be drawn or depicted following the murder of the French teacher Samuel Paty. His answer to the question was that while ‘freedom of expression’ should always be ‘defended’, that it wasn’t ‘without limits’ as ‘You can’t, for example, shout ‘fire’ in a crowded movie theatre’.
He also noted that since Canada was a ‘pluralistic, diverse and respectful society’, that people ‘must be aware of the impact of our words and actions on others, especially those communities and populations that still experience a great deal of discrimination’. He also condemned the actual terrorist act, stating that the ‘murderers’ don’t ‘represent any religion’. The murderer in question, the 18-year old Muslim Abdoullakh Anzorov, who had arrived in France as a refugee from the Russian area of Chechnya and of who had been in contact with two jihadists before the incident, was killed at the area of the beheading, when police shot him 9 times after he refused to co-operate with them.
Trudeau sparked immediate backlash online, with many feeling that it was in poor taste to question freedom of expression at a time when people like Paty were killed for it. Telegraph assistant editor Madeline Grant openly admitted to loathing Trudeau, calling him a ‘disgraceful virtue-signalling weasel who stands for nothing beyond a few low effort platitudes’, while noted British academic and author Matt Goodwin condemned the Canadian PM for seeming to make the murder of Paty seem ‘acceptable’. Former UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe criticised Trudeau for giving ‘comfort to terrorist actions and their murders’ and Professor Gad Saad argued Trudeau’s statement on the matter was far worse than anything United States President Donald Trump had done.
This isn’t the first time the Liberal Prime Minister has sparked controversy within Canada over Islam and free speech. Back in 2017, his party caused an outrage by passing Motion 103 in the House of Commons there, of which condemned ‘Islamophobia’. Many were critical of the motion, feeling it represented a threat to free speech in the country, including some in the Canadian Conservative Party.