Dieudonne Gives 'Quenelle' to Queen After British Ban
Anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala was banned from entering Britain on Monday, and he responded by giving his reverse Nazi salute to Queen Elizabeth II, AFP reports.
The comic, who has a string of convictions for hate speech in his homeland, performed the stiff-armed gesture after naming the queen in a rant during a show in the Swiss town of Nyon.
Britain's interior ministry earlier Monday said it had slapped an exclusion order on 47-year-old Dieudonne, who had said he planned to visit his friend, French footballer Nicolas Anelka, on the grounds of public security.
Anelka caused an outcry when he made the “quenelle” gesture, invented by Dieudonne, after scoring a goal in a game in Britain. He has since been charged by the Football Association, the sport's governing body in England, over his use of the anti-Semitic "quenelle" gesture.
British media last week quoted Dieudonne as saying that he was planning to perform a show in Britain and hold a press conference in support of Anelka, a former international on a stint with West Bromwich Albion.
Dieudonne, who also faces accusations of fraud at home, says he is being persecuted by the French authorities.
"So many things have happened over the past year. Just today... S**t, what have I done? I don't know," he said during his show in Nyon.
His lawyer Jacques Verdier said he did not know if his client had actually intended to go to London.
He said that the ban showed British authorities were "nervous" and added that "it's appalling but nothing surprises us at the moment."
Dieudonne, who has been widely accused of promoting anti-Semitism, already has a string of convictions in France for hate speech and other related offences, and recently saw his performances banned by French authorities due to their virulently anti-Semitic content.
Last week French police seized 650,000 euros and $15,000 in cash during a raid on his house as part of a probe into suspected fraud.
Authorities are currently trying to force Dieudonne to pay more than 65,000 euros in outstanding fines related to his convictions and suspect that the 47-year-old was planning to fraudulently declare himself bankrupt.
Some followers of Dieudonne have been photographed doing the quenelle at sites including Auschwitz, synagogues and outside a Jewish school in Toulouse where a rabbi and three children were shot dead by Islamist gunman Mohammed Merah in 2012.