New York - During a Maclean Town Hall that was held in Ottawa on December 16, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked to comment on the hateful rhetoric of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump.
New York – During a Maclean Town Hall that was held in Ottawa on December 16, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked to comment on the hateful rhetoric of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Footage of the town hall broadcast was posted on YouTube. A woman in the audience read a question from a Twitter user who asked Trudeau, “Will you stand up to Donald Trump and condemn his hateful rhetoric?” She immediately followed with a question of her own in which she wanted to know Trudeau’s position regarding Trump’s politics, “What would you say if you could sit down and talk to him?”
Although the Prime Minister used caution and diplomacy in answering the question, he denounced the comparison between ISIS terrorists with Muslims to be ignorant and irresponsible.
“First of all, I think it’s extremely important that someone in my position doesn’t engage in the electoral processes of another country, so I’m certainly going to be very cautious about engaging in this particular topic,” the Prime Minister said.
“However, I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that I stand firmly against the politics of division, the politics of fear, the politics of intolerance or hateful rhetoric,” he stressed.
Trudeau reaffirmed that in Canada, “we understand that diversity is a source of strength, not a source of weakness. That the elements on which we are similar are always far greater than the elements on which we are diverse.”
He condemned the fear mongering rhetoric of political leaders who promote hatred and intolerance. “If we allow politicians to succeed by scaring people, we don’t actually end up any safer. Fear doesn’t make us safer, it makes us weaker,” he said.
“And at this time, when there is reason to be concerned for security around the world and here at home, we need to remain focused on keeping our communities safe and keeping our communities united instead of trying to build walls and scapegoat communities,” the Canadian leader highlighted.
Trudeau addressed the Muslim community and defended Muslims saying “they are the greatest victims of terrorist acts around the world at the present time.”
The Canadian Prime Minister concluded his statement by strongly opposing politicians who equate terrorists with Muslims.
“Painting ISIS and others with a broad brush that extends to all Muslims is not just ignorant, it’s irresponsible,” he said.