Justin Trudeau François Legault

Legault disagrees with Justin Trudeau’s stance on Muhammad cartoons

“We do not have the right to shout ‘Fire!’ in a movie theatre crowded with people.”

In a press conference this morning, Quebec Premier François Legault was asked about whether freedom of expression “should take a backseat” to being culturally sensitive. This comes in light of the recent series of horrific attacks in France, which began with the killing of a teacher who had shown Muhammad cartoons in class.

“No, I do agree with Emmanuel Macron,” Premier Legault said. “I believe that we cannot accuse people who have drawn cartoons to justify violence because of that. I totally disagree with Mr. Trudeau on that. I think we need to protect freedom of expression.”

Last week Trudeau said that while there is never justification for violence, drawing or showing Muhammad cartoons, which is blasphemous in the Muslim faith, is comparable to shouting fire in a crowded theatre:

“We will always defend freedom of expression,” Trudeau said. “But freedom of expression is not 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. We do not have the right, for example, to shout ‘Fire!’ in a movie theatre crowded with people — there are always limits.”

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