French Court Lets Anti-Semitic Comic Perform
A French court has ruled that the comic Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, notorious for his anti-Semitic skits, will be allowed to perform in Nantes on Thursday night. The ruling overturns a government decision to ban performances on his nationwide tour, and a local decision to do the same.
The local prefect of Nantes on Tuesday ordered the cancellation of Dieudonne's performance in the town, in accordance with instructions from Interior Minister Manuel Valls and President Francois Hollande.
On Wednesday, however, Dieudonne began appealing individual local courts to reverse the bans of his various shows. The anti-Semitic comedian had his request granted regarding Nantes, the first stop on his tour.
The anti-Semitic comic's request was previously rejected by a court in Pau on Wednesday, barring his planned show in Biarritz. The Pau court argued it had no legal jurisdiction to rule on the case and overturn the ban. It remains to be seen how local courts will rule regarding his other performances.
Aside from his anti-Semitism, Dieudonne has faced criticism for reportedly owing 887,000 euros ($1.2 million) in taxes, and for allegedly hiding his money by sending it to Cameroon, where his father is from. According to reports, he has sent more than 400,000 euros ($544,520) since 2009, and in the last year alone transferred 230,000 euros ($313,030).
Dieudonne has become infamous for making anti-Semitic jokes, and further for popularizing his signature gesture, the "quenelle." The move is an inverted Nazi salute, and raised widespread attention when French soccer player Nicolas Anelka recently made the salute after a game.