Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Merkel in Kiev amid Russian aid convoy ‘escalation’

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Philippines recalls peacekeepers in Liberia over Ebola

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

France

France may ban French comic’s show for ‘anti-Semitism’

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-28

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced on Friday that he would try to legally ban performances by French comic and actor Dieudonné, who has frequently been accused of anti-Semitism.

Dieudonné is best known for televised sketch comedy and a one-man show in Paris, in which he professes staunch anti-Israel views that many say amount to hate speech. He has also downplayed the significance of the Holocaust, calling commemorations “memorial pornography”.

“Despite a conviction for public defamation, hate speech and racial discrimination, Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala no longer seems to recognise any limits,” a statement released by Valls read. “Consequently, the interior minister has decided to thoroughly examine all legal options that would allow a ban on Dieudonné’s public gatherings, which no longer belong to the artistic domain, but rather amount to a public safety risk.”

‘Time to silence him’

Roger Cukierman, the president of CRIF, the main French Jewish lobby, applauded the decision in an interview with French television channel i>TELE.

“It’s a step in the right direction, because if we continue letting him do as he pleases, violence could result,” he said. “It’s time to silence him. He’s no longer a comic; he has become a peddler of hate.”

The latest controversy surrounding Dieudonné began when footage captured by a hidden camera planted in his theatre was broadcast on French television channel France 2 in mid-December.

Performing onstage, Dieudonné said about prominent French Jewish radio journalist Patrick Cohen: “Me, you see, when I hear Patrick Cohen speak, I think to myself: ‘Gas chambers…too bad [they no longer exist].”

Radio France, Cohen’s employer, announced on December 20 that it had alerted authorities that Dieudonné had engaged in “openly anti-Semitic speech”, and various French anti-racism watchdog groups filed complaints.

Friends on the far right

Dieudonné is also behind a hand gesture known as the “quenelle” – described as a sort of downward-pointing Nazi salute – that has become popular among some young people in France.

The French-born son of a Cameroonian father and a white French mother, the 47-year-old Dieudonné has a diverse legion of followers, though his main fans tend to be young French people who espouse “anti-system” views.

But the comic has also found support on the far-right political fringe; he counts Jean-Marie Le Pen, former leader of the far-right National Front party, as a close friend and has regularly invited well-known Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson onstage during his shows.
 

Date created : 2013-12-27

  • FRANCE

    French unemployment up 0.5% in November

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Theatre director rams Elysée Palace gate in protest at subsidy cuts

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    French mother says jihadist ex threatens to take toddler to Syria

    Read more

COMMENT(S)