Dieudonne: The bizarre journey of a controversial comic


Anti-semitism has deep roots in France, but it is attracting new groups of adherents: the disaffected youth of black or Arab immigrants.

*Dieudonne M’bala M’bala - the man who inspired the controversial gesture known as the quenelle - is at the centre of a growing row in France over the acceptable limits of free speech.

From being a staunch anti-racist who ran in elections against the National Front and whose first stage partner was the Jewish comic Elie Semoun, he now openly attacks the “Zionist-American axis of power” and named Jean-Marie Le Pen as godfather of his child.

He has been condemned on seven occasions for anti-Semitic remarks - at one point describing holocaust commemorations as “memorial pornography” - and counts as allies a motley mixture from Shia radicals to shaven-headed far-right ultras.

But despite (or maybe because of) his estrangement from the establishment - and these days he is now more or less totally boycotted by the media - Dieudonne retains a wide appeal in France.*

The controversial gesture mentioned in the first paragraph is basically an upside-down Nazi salute. More on it here:
(the second photo shows it most clearly)


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