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The central question is whether it is ever acceptable to insult religious figures, especially by showing images of Muhammad.
Islam forbids showing pictures of Muhammad, but I am not a Muslim and should not have to live by this rule nor their rule against eating bacon.
The debate was fueled by a series of terrorist attacks in Europe – two in France and one in Austria – which began after a teacher in France showed images of Mohammed in a class on free speech.
France takes the issue seriously, seeing itself as a secular state with no position on religion.
The result was that the professor was beheaded in the first of three attacks.
Trudeau did not immediately express his solidarity with France after this attack, and then when he insisted on his support for free speech, he hesitated to do the right thing.
What he should have said is that if he can find the Muhammad cartoons offensive and understand why Muslims do so, it is a fundamental freedom to show them, publish them or discuss them.
He did not do it.
“We will always stand up for free speech,” Trudeau said before explaining why he doesn’t really believe in free speech or free speech.
“Freedom of expression is not unlimited. For example, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater is not allowed, “Trudeau said.
“Everyone should act with respect towards others and not try to unnecessarily or arbitrarily hurt someone with whom we share this planet and this society.”
Telling us that we “must” act with respect when you are Prime Minister smells of a government decree.