J.K. Rowling surprised her audience by supporting Republican U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Interestingly, the Harry Potter writer noted that Trump has her full support to come to U.K. and “be offensive and bigoted there.”
Speaking at the prestigious Pen America’s annual literary gala in New York, J.K. Rowling got a huge chuckle from the crowd when she referenced the petition launched last year to ban Donald Trump from entering the U.K., reported Vox. Many were amused when she noted the petition garnered about half a million signatures, strongly indicating the common consensus about the Republican presidential hopeful.
“Only last year, we saw an online petition to ban Donald Trump from entry in the U.K. It garnered half a million signatures.”
Despite agreeing with the crowd that she personally finds Trump “offensive and bigoted” as well, Rowling shrewdly pointed out the freedom of speech that every citizen is accorded to by the democratic government. She stressed that she supports entry of Donald Trump into the U.K. and to speak there. She stressed that U.K. shouldn’t ban Trump solely because the citizens find him offensive,
“Now, I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there.”
Rowling was referring to a hugely-popular U.K. petition which garnered more than 585,000 signatures, far exceeding the 100,000 figure that was requested. The petition sought to officially ban Trump from visiting the country. The petition not only grabbed the nation’s attention, it even spurred a parliamentary debate on the issue. Using the platform, many lawmakers in the U.K. openly mocked Donald Trump’s seemingly offensive comments and strong opinions. The members could speak their minds freely owing to a specific piece of legislature that shields them from accusations of defamation or slander, reported CNN.
Rowling noted the freedom that protects Donald Trump’s right to speak openly, also grants her the same protection when she “calls him a bigot.”
In the past, J.K. Rowling has been accused of converting children to Satanism with the Harry Potter books. Taking aim at these critics, Rowling said they are at a liberty to do so, while she is “free to explain that I’m exploring human nature and morality, or to say ‘you’re an idiot,’ depending on which side of the bed I got out of that day,” reported The Guardian.
Rowling was at the gala to receive an award. She was being honored for her work as an advocate for women’s and girls’ rights and as a “fierce opponent of censorship.” She used the platform to note, her feelings on Trump.
“His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot. His freedom guarantees mine. Unless we take that absolute position without caveats or apologies, we have set foot upon a road with only one destination.
“If my offended feelings can justify a travel ban on Donald Trump, I have no moral grounds on which to argue that those offended by feminism, or the fight for transgender rights, or universal suffrage, should not oppress campaigners for those causes.”
Last year, J.K. Rowling compared Donald Trump to the main and powerful villain of her Harry Potter books, saying she thought “Voldemort was nowhere as bad.”
How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad. https://t.co/hFO0XmOpPH— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 8, 2015
Her tweet was spurred from Trump’s comments about temporarily banning all Muslims from entering the United States.
Besides Donald Trump and the freedom of speech, Rowling also spoke about Tal Al-Mallouhi. The woman was arrested by Syrian security forces in 2009 over her blog entries.
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