London-The ‘Harry Potter’ author has said that Trump’s freedom to speak protects her “freedom to call him a bigot”.

Harry Potter author Jk Rowling has made her views on US presidential candidate Donald Trump very clear; she doesn’t agree with the things he says, but she respect his right to say them. Speaking at Pen America’s annual literary gala in New York, Rowling described Trump as ‘offensive and bigoted’ but that does not mean she supports the petition to ban him from the UK. “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,” the author said, referencing the petition launched last year which called for Trump to be banned from entering the UK.

“If my offended feelings can constitute 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,” Rowling continued.

 “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 along tyrants who imprison, torture and kill on exactly the same justification.” Rowling was being honoured at the event with the 2016 Pen/Allen Foundation literary service award, which recognises a writer who works “oppose repression in any form and to champion the best of humanity”.

The author ended her speech by recalling the case of blogger Tal Al-Mallouhi, an 18-year-old Syrian who was imprisoned for her writing in 2009 and remains incarcerated.

 Quoting one of Al-Mallouhi’s blogs, Rowling concluded: “If I disagree with you in thoughts, principals, or beliefs, does this deny the fact that we are both human?”

“All you and I have to do is respect each other. Tolerate the views of your opponents coolly and patiently. While listening to them, do not think to respond before listening to all opposing opinions.”