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PM Justin Trudeau backtracks on anti-free speech remarks

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has now changed his stance on the issue of drawings of Mohammed, which led to terrorist attacks in France.

While this Tuesday, Trudeau said that he doesn’t condemn the drawings of Mohammed and spoke about defending freedom of expression, just a week ago, he said “free expression has its limits.”

Trudeau appears to have changed his tune after immediate backlash to his original statements.

According to a report by the National Post, it was revealed that Trudeau expressed his support for freedom of speech and expression, which is, strictly speaking, contradicting what he said the previous week.

“I think it is more important to continue to defend freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Our artists help us to reflect and challenge our views, and they contribute to our society,” he said this Tuesday. Trudeau also said that “nothing” justifies “violence” and “terrorism.”

When Trudeau was asked in the previous week about his comments on the incident, he compared drawing Mohammed cartoons to “yelling fire in a crowded movie theatre.” He also went on to explain that in a “pluralistic, diverse and respectful society like ours, we must be aware of the impact of our words, of our actions on others, particularly these communities and populations who still experience enormous discrimination.”

Trudeau’s initial comments on the issue attracted widespread criticism, which may also explain the reason why he had a sudden paradigm shift and started advocating “free expression.” Even Canadian politicians ended up condemning Trudeau’s initial remarks, with the Quebec Premier Francois Legault saying that he “totally disagrees” with the Prime Minister’s comments.

What’s more, Francois Legault also revealed that he was personally thanked by the French president Emmanuel Macron after he came in support of France. Even opposition leaders in Canada took the opportunity to condemn Trudeau for his stance on the issue. Erin O’Toole, one of the prominent opposition leaders in Canada, said that the “world leaders have been standing with President Macron and defending free speech. Why hasn’t this prime minister?”

Be it the mounting pressure from his opposition leaders or critics, Trudeau seems to have had an almost abrupt change of opinion regarding the whole issue and is now in support of freedom of speech and expression. At least, he says he is.

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