• France's news in English

French comic Dieudonne probed for racial hatred

The Local · 31 Dec 2013, 08:18

Published: 31 Dec 2013 08:18 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Dieudonne, who has drawn controversy over an increasingly copied trademark gesture that many view as a Nazi-style salute, is already facing a possible ban on public performances over anti-Semitic remarks.

The comedian maintains he is not anti-Jewish, and says the "quenelle", his provocative downward version of a Nazi salute, merely reflects his anti-establishment views.

Judicial sources said the probe would centre around a December 19 performance by 47-year-old Dieudonne at a Paris theatre where he mocked radio journalist Patrick Cohen, who is Jewish.

"When I hear Patrick Cohen speak, I tell myself, you know, the gas chambers... Shame," Dieudonne had said.

The comedian has been in the eye of several storms recently.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls is considering whether to ban all public appearances by Dieudonne, saying he is "no longer a comedian" but rather an "anti-Semite and racist" who fell afoul of national laws against incitement to
racial hatred.

And his friend, French striker Nicolas Anelka, replicated the salute after scoring a goal in Britain, risking possible sanctions from the Football Association.

Anelka argued in tweets that the gesture -- in which he thrust his straightened right arm downwards while tapping his bicep with the other hand -- was merely "anti-establishment".

The comedian, whose full name is Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, has been fined seven times for defamation, insult, hate speech and for racial discrimination.

Story continues below…

He has described Holocaust celebrations as "memorial pornography", made "Heil"-like signs on television as part of a sketch and befriended far-right leaders such as Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Dieudonne decries what he calls the "domination of Zionists" in Western societies and the overemphasis on the horrors of the Holocaust to the exclusion of other crimes, like slavery and racism.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available