Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, January 2014
French Government Bans Shows of Comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala While Allowing Islamophobia
By Hassan El-Najjar
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, January 10, 2014
For researchers, journalists, and readers, this is just another example of how much France and other NATO countries are controlled by global Zionists.
The French Council of the State banned the shows of the French Comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala because of his criticism of global Zionists. Moreover, both the President and his Interior Minister hailed the ruling. However, neither the Council nor the government did anything to ban the circulation of anti-Islamic materials, such as the infamous cartoons smearing Prophet Muhammed, peace and blessings be upon him.
Thus doing, the French government showed its sensitivity and respect for the feelings of Jewish Zionists while giving a blind eye to all the Islamophobic activities, which hurt the feelings of Muslims in France and around the world.
The French government has not demonstrated that it is free, independent, or democratic. When there are attacks on Islam and Muslims, it does not stop or prevent them using the pretext of democracy and freedom of expression. However, when Zionists are criticized, it takes measures to stop that claimed freedom of expression!
Is it hypocrisy, double-standard, control by global Zionists, or capitulation to them?
Or All of that?
While French President, Francois Hollande, his Mistress, Valerie Trierweiler, Are Involved in More Affairs, Court Actions, Who Is Launching French Wars in Africa
First Muslim President of Diamond-Rich Central African Republic, Michel Djotodia, Forced to Resign Under Pressure by France and its Puppets, Attacks on Muslims Continue, January 12, 2014.htm
French ban on anti-Semitic comic fuels free speech debate
France 24, AFP, 2014-01-10
A decision to ban performances by French comic Dieudonné M'bala M'bala has been praised as a “victory” by the government, while many say the ban undermines free speech.
In a legal tug-of-war that played out on Thursday, a court in Nantes, western France, overturned a ban the city authorities had imposed on a Dieudonné show due to open its doors that evening.
Hours later the Council of State, France’s highest administrative court, confirmed the city’s prohibition of his comedy act.
The final decision was greeted with boos and jeers by hundreds of the comedian's fans outside the Zenith Theatre in Nantes. More than 5,000 tickets had been sold for the performance, which was to be the second in his planned France-wide tour.
Scorning the Holocaust
Dieudonné, 47, the mixed-race son of a Cameroonian immigrant and a French mother, has been convicted seven times for inciting racial hatred or anti-Semitism in shows in which he has scorned the Holocaust and played up anti-Jewish conspiracy theories.
He also has popularized the “quenelle” hand gesture, which French Interior Minister Manuel Valls has called an “inverted Nazi salute.”
Dieudonné was convicted at the end of 2013 for using the word “Shoananas,” a combination of the Hebrew word for Holocaust and the French word for pineapple.
A song containing the word is seen as deriding Holocaust survivors and victims. Some fans hoping to see Thursday's show carried pineapples.
A French ‘victory’
French President François Hollande’s government was swift to declare the ban a “victory” for France.
“In the face of the mechanics of hate ... we need firmness and determination and great calm,'' Valls said after the Council of State announced its decision.
Valls declared that France had been made stronger by the decision to keep Dieudonné off the stage in Nantes.
“But the combat against the nauseating words of this personality continues,'' he said on the iTélé TV station. “Citizens should not go to these shows.”
Earlier in the week, Hollande told his cabinet: “No one should be able to use this show for provocation and to promote openly anti-Semitic ideas.”
But critics have described the ban as a pyrrhic victory, with many saying that making a martyr of Dieudonné will only strengthen his support and weaken France’s precious freedom of expression.
The last-minute move to ban Dieudonné stand-up show was a “defeat for France”, according to Agnès Tricoire, of the French Human Rights League (LDH).
“This is not a victory for the republic, but a defeat for democracy,” Tricore said on FRANCE 24’s Debate programme, adding that she nevertheless found the comedian’s anti-Semitic declarations “abominable”.
“A democracy does not back down from its fundamental freedoms, from freedom of expression,” she said. “This astonishing decision sets a dangerous precedent. Who else is going to be banned for having a controversial point of view?”
Leading French public law expert Nicolas Garderes agreed that the government had undermined freedom of expression by imposing a pre-emptive ban.
“Laws exist that punish anti-Semitism and incitement to racial hatred,” he said, adding that if Dieudonné were to break these laws during his show, he should be punished after the fact and not before.
Jean-Yves Camus, who is one of France’s most recognised academic experts on the far right, responded: “He’s already been convicted seven times, and been given fines that he has not paid."
“He is operating with a growing sense of impunity. And in the face of that sense of impunity, [the ban] was the only option the interior ministry had left.”
Date created : 2014-01-10
French high court reinstates ban on controversial comic
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)
Latest update : 2014-01-10
France's highest administrative court has ruled to reinstate a ban on controversial comic Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, just hours after a court in the western city of Nantes overturned an official prohibition on his comedy act.
A judge overturned the ban on Dieudonné’s performances earlier in the day, paving the way for him to open a nationwide tour with a stand-up routine Thursday evening at Nantes' Zenith Theatre.
The final decision was greeted with boos and jeers by hundreds of the comedian's fans outside the venue.
More than 5,000 tickets had been sold for the performance.
Dieudonné, whose act has been widely condemned as being anti-Semitic, was banned in Nantes as well as Marseille, Bordeaux and Tours on the grounds of maintaining public order as authorities probe whether he could face charges for breaking French laws against "inciting racial hatred".
French President François Hollande had also backed the ban on his performances.
“No one should be able to use this show for provocation and to promote openly anti-Semitic ideas,” Hollande told a meeting of senior government officials in Paris on Tuesday.
Lawyers for Dieudonné, 47, who has been fined repeatedly for hate speech, have said they would take legal action to defend him, accusing his detractors of defamation and invasion of privacy.
“Freedom of expression is not at the whim of governments or a comedian,” they said in a statement.
But the municipal bans have given rise to misgivings among some opponents of the comic, who fear that banning him will only fuel his popularity and provide him with more opportunities to cash in on his notoriety.
Dieudonné, whose father is from Cameroon and whose mother is French Caucasian, is also due to perform 10 nights in the small Swiss town of Nyon. The city of Geneva tried to ban him several years ago but a judge also overturned that decision.
The ‘quenelle’ salute
Dieudonné supporters say the public order argument against him is false because he performs inside theatres rather than in the streets.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls moved to ban his shows after Jewish groups complained about his trademark "quenelle", a straight-armed downward gesture that they have likened to a Nazi salute in reverse.
West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka is being investigated by the English Football Association for using the quenelle during a December 28th football match in Britain to celebrate a goal.
And NBA basketball star Tony Parker, a Frenchman, has apologised for a three-year-old photo of him making the salute.
Dieudonné's defenders say the gesture is merely anti-establishment and does not carry overtly racist overtones.
The gesture took on sinister connotations, however, with the publication of pictures of Dieudonné fans performing quenelles outside synagogues, at a Holocaust museum and in front of the school in Toulouse, where a gunman inspired by al Qaeda killed a rabbi and three Jewish children as part of a 2012 shooting spree.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)
Hollande backs ban on ‘anti-Semitic’ comedian Dieudonné
France 24, AFP
Video by Marc PERELMAN
Text by FRANCE 24
Latest update : 2014-01-08
French President François Hollande on Tuesday backed attempts to ban shows by a controversial French comedian who the government accuses of threatening public order with his anti-Semitic comments.
Hollande’s call for local officials to ban Dieudonné M’bala M’bala from theatres comes after the French cities of Nantes, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Tours banned his forthcoming shows on the grounds of public order.
“I am calling on all representatives of the state, particularly its prefects, to be on alert and inflexible,” President Francois Hollande said, referring to regional officials charged with maintaining law and order in France.
“No one should be able to use this show for provocation and to promote openly anti-Semitic ideas,” he told a meeting of senior government officials in Paris. Lawyers for Dieudonné, who has been fined repeatedly for hate speech, said they would take legal action to defend him.
“Freedom of expression is not at the whim of governments or a comedian,” they said in a statement announcing the launch of legal complaints for defamation and invasion of privacy. The cities' bans have also sparked misgivings amongst some opponents of the comic, who fear that banning him will only fuel his popularity further with his target audience and enhance his opportunities to cash in on his notoriety.
Reverse ‘Nazi salute’
Dieudonne supporters say the public order argument is false because he performs inside theatres rather than in the streets.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls pushed to ban his shows after Jewish groups complained about his trademark straight-arm gesture, which they call a “Nazi salute in reverse” and linked to a rising tide of anti-Semitic remarks and attacks in France.
Dieudonné, 46, Paris-born son of a Cameroonian father and French mother, says the gestures is a statement of his anti-Zionist and anti-establishment views, not anti-Semitism.
West Bromwich Albion striker Anelka is being investigated by the English Football Association for using it during a December 28th football match. NBA basketball star Tony Parker, a Frenchman, has apologised for a three-year-old photo of him making the salute.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-01-07
Dieudonné: from anti-racist to anti-Semitic zealot
France 24, AFP, 2014-01-06
Anti-establishment comedian to some, anti-Semitic and far-right extremist to others - the name Dieudonné M'bala M'bala is one that provokes strong and often contradictory opinions among the French public.
Known usually by his first name, Dieudonné has been no stranger to controversy throughout a career that began in comedy and acting, but has drifted increasingly into political activism.
Recent events, however, have seen the 47-year-old catapulted to the subject of impassioned debate both at home and abroad. First there was the announcement by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls that he would try to legally ban Dieudonné’s performances, then there was the use of his trademark ‘quenelle’ gesture by French footballer Nicolas Anelka during a football match in the English Premier League – bringing Dieudonné to wider international attention.
But it was not always this way for Dieudonné, whose early career was characterised by strong anti-racist and largely left-wing views, in both his political activism and comedy routines.
Tackling the far right
The Paris-born son of a Cameroonian father and French mother, he first began writing and performing in the 1990s with his childhood friend, Jewish comedian and actor Élie Semoun, and their sketches tackled such issues as everyday racism and discrimination in France.
Twice he stood in elections as a left-wing candidate taking on the far-right National Front party, once in 1997 and again a year later.
Both times he lost. Undeterred, he announced his intention to stand for the leftist “Utopistes” party in the 2002 presidential election, but ultimately failed to win the necessary sponsorships to run.
So what pushed this staunch anti-racist opponent of the far-right to so dramatically alter his views?
Perhaps there was an early hint of what was to come when campaign literature for his failed presidential bid appeared to accuse the French state of “double standards” in reparations paid to descendants of Jews deported during the Second World War, but not to the descendants of African slaves.
This perceived injustice may be what later morphed Dieudonné’s political identity from a defender of the underprivileged and black rights to an outspoken critic of Israel and Jews in general.
In a 2002 interview with Lyon Capitale magazine, he described “the Jews” as “a sect, a fraud” and claimed that “racism was invented by Abraham”.
The following year he made a now infamous appearance on French TV when, dressed as an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, he gave a Nazi salute while shouting "Isra-heil!".
He went on to adopt the popular anti-Semitic claim of a Jewish conspiracy operating in the upper echelons of politics, business and the media, while at the same time portraying the Jewish people as claiming some sought of “monopoly” on suffering at the expense of other minorities, particularly blacks.
“The Zionists have perverted the values of the Republic so that only the suffering of the Jews is recognised officially, not, for instance, the suffering of blacks through the slave trade” he told Britain’s Independent newspaper in 2006.
Joining the far right
Dieudonné has attempted to portray his position as anti-Zionist, rather than anti-Semitic, over the years.
His critics also point to the political company he now keeps as further evidence of his far-right beliefs.
In 2006, Dieudonné made a surprise visit to the National Front's annual fair and shortly afterwards he invited holocaust denier Robert Faurisson on stage at the Main d'Or theatre he owns in Paris.
He has developed a close friendship with National Front party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, who is a godfather to one of his children.
His trademark gesture, the “quenelle”, which involves pointing the right arm straight down and touching that arm with the left hand, has been described by critics as a modified Nazi salute.
Last week, Dieudonné said of a prominent Jewish journalist: "Me, you see, when I hear Patrick Cohen speak, I think to myself: 'Gas chambers ... too bad (they no longer exist)."
But despite the controversy, or perhaps rather because of it, Dieudonné’s popularity is unquestionable: his shows at his Paris theatre are nearly always sold out and his YouTube videos garner millions of hits.
This has led some critics to claim Dieudonné’s extreme views are motivated by money.
Others believe it is a deliberate ploy to raise his profile with a view to moving full-time into politics, using anti-Semitism to win support from various disaffected groups in France. “How does he please the nationalist extreme right as much as recently immigrated populations ...?,” asked Sociologist Michel Wieviorka in an opinion piece in Thursday's Le Monde.
“The paradox is resolved (via) anti-Semitism, which ... brings together people that otherwise are separated by everything.”
France may ban French comic’s show for ‘anti-Semitism’
France 24, AFP, 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
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