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Posted: May 17, 2016

J.K. Rowling says Trump has her 'full support to be offensive and bigoted'

Author J.K. Rowling attends photocall ahead of her reading from 'The Casual Vacancy' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on September 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
Ben Pruchnie
Author J.K. Rowling attends photocall ahead of her reading from 'The Casual Vacancy' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on September 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)

By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NEW YORK —

Author J.K. Rowling finds nearly everything GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump says "objectionable," yet she said Monday she does not support a ban proposed last year to keep the business mogul away from the United Kingdom.

"I consider him offensive and bigoted," she said while speaking to a crowd gathered in New York. "But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there."

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A proposal to ban Trump garnered 560,000 signatures from citizens of the United Kingdom. The country's House of Commons debated the petition in January but did not vote on it.

Allowing Trump to voice his often controversial opinions where ever he wishes "protects my freedom to call him a bigot," Rowling said.

"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," she said.

"If you seek the removal of freedoms from an opponent simply on the grounds that they have offended you, you have crossed a line to stand alongside tyrants who impression, torture and kill on exactly the same justification."

Rowling made her comments while accepting the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award for her work in support of "free expression and access to literature and ideas for children, as well as incarcerated people, the learning-disabled, and women and girls worldwide," according to PEN America.

Her acceptance speech focused on the importance of free speech, a topic that has come up frequently since she wrote the incredibly popular and at times controversial Harry Potter series.

She ended her comments with a call to free Tal Al-Mallouhi, a woman who was arrested by Syrian forces in 2009 for posts made to her blog. She was 18 years old at the time and remains jailed.

"I repeat the beautiful plea for plurality, tolerance and the importance of rational discourse in the hope that Tal Al-Mallouhi will soon be freed," she said. "In the meantime, long may PEN continue to fight for her, and for the freedoms on which a liberal society rests, without which no literature can have value."  


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