Legault sides with Macron, not Trudeau, on right to draw cartoons of Prophet Muhammad

Quebec Premier Francois Legault arrives for a COVID-19 press briefing, Monday, November 2, 2020 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Francois Legault said Monday, when speaking about the tragic Quebec City stabbing spree, that he "totally disagreed" with Justin Trudeau's statement on Friday about the limits of freedom of expression.

Trudeau was asked about the right to caricature of religions in general, and in particular about the right to draw the Muslim prophet.

Cartoons have served as a pretext for bloody attacks in France over the past two weeks, and famously in the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in 2015.

On Friday, Trudeau compared the publication of these cartoons to the act of yelling "fire" in a crowded movie theatre. While he said he would defend freedom of expression overall, he also insisted on the need to put limits on this freedom out of a concern for public safety.

Monday morning, in Montreal, Legault clearly chose his camp. Legault said he did not agree with Trudeau, but rather with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Since the Oct. 16 beheading of a teacher in the middle of a French street, France's president has vocally supported the right to make fun of religions and the need to protect freedom of expression above all.

History teacher Samuel Paty, the murder victim, had shown caricatures of Muhammad in one of his classes.

Thursday, in Nice, two women and a man were slaughtered in a church by a young Tunisian.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 2, 2020.

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