Paris: Comedian who made joke on Facebook investigated for “defending terrorism”


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This is the Quenelle guy, no?

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Yeah, that’s him.

Yep, it is exactly that one.

BTW, since November there is a new anti-terrorist law in France which makes apologizing/defending terrorism in public (including web) a crime. There have been a few people who got several months in prison for posting a stupid thing on Facebook already. France is not really a land of free speech as the Americans are used to it - there is a fairly low tolerance for hate speech of all kinds, especially now after the terrorist attacks.

On the other hand, Dieudonné is a fairly controversial figure here - he has been against discrimination and racism, then has allied himself with the neo-nazis from National Front, became a good friend of the elder Le Pen, some prominent anti-semitic personas are among his supporters. He is trying to pose himself as a sort of anti-establishment critic, unfortunately few can make any sense out of him anymore. His shows started to cross the line to antisemitism and he is pretty much banned from performing in most of France right now, in addition to several large fines that he got from the courts.


I don’t share that guy’s racist opinions, but I would die for his right to shut the fuck up.


I never did get his allying with neo-Nazis. He’s mixed-race. The Nazis would’ve sent him up the chimney only slightly less quickly than they’d have sent me and mine.



Yeah, not really sure what xeni is trying to say here

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The guy is a well known cretin and anti-semite.

That doesnt mean the law is not bullshit and that he should be investigated for farting its brain in public.

But well, it is like the 1e10 case of “see what the hypocrites at the march really do” since yesterday.


Although I am not familiar with this man’s material, I can’t imagine it’s much worse than what you hear from an Oregon construction crew on a smoke break.

If you subscribe to the Alex Jones brand of skepticism/paranoia this makes perfect sense. The French government would allow the ‘hate speech’ of Charlie Hebdo, which semi-intentionally inflamed groups easily incited to violence (more terror = more forfeiture of freedom), while trying to suppress any attempt to express the bad guys perspective as unlawful.

I am not claiming that this is what I believe is happening or excusing terrorism, just offering a pop-perspective. I don’t think I believe any speech justifies violence or loss of liberty (by individuals or the state). (Although I’ve heard pretty valid arguments for tolerating everything but intolerance). The inimitable Chris Hedges has probably the most unique take so far on what’s going on in France right now:

Edit: Now this has me thinking. What if someone was a very charismatic liar? What if they were beginning to convince a significant number of people that x racial group was unworthy because of x reason?

FYI, there are similar laws in other parts of Europe too, mostly covering stuff like denying holocaust, neo-nazi propaganda, views promoting violence against gypsies/immigrants/muslims …

It is not a black & white thing. Europe has a nasty experience with this stuff (and that doesn’t mean only Hitler - European history is full of anti-semitism, xenophobia, religious intolerance, etc!) so a an absolute freedom of speech in the sense of the First Amendment doesn’t really have a tradition here. There are pros and cons of that, of course.

At least the French enforcement of these things is somewhat reasonable so far, trying to not overreach, especially not into political speech - even though fines are common. The guys who got busted and jailed had other things too - mostly drugs, being out of jail on parole, etc. Otherwise they would have got only fines like Dieudonné or Le Pen did in the past. Nobody is going to land in jail only because of a single Facebook post.

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I’m in Spain, we have more or less the same law about “apology of terrorism” due to ETA, and it is used more or less the same, including a very stupid pair of operations against idiots posting stupid stuff on Twitter .

Charlie Hebdo is hard to classify as “hate speech” - sometimes disgusting, yes, but it is a satire. They were never inciting violence or promoting hatred against anyone. Moreover, they are pretty much mocking everyone and everything, without difference - be it politicians, catholic church, islamic terrorists, consumerist society, etc.

On the other hand, I have to say that makes the actual joke he made funny to me just for it’s absurdity. Apparently he’s a freedom fighter/person who would kill freedom fighters and he is aware of that?

I wasn’t calling it hate speech, just contrasting it with what the government is charging this comedian with.

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In conventional wars, the ideology of each side usually contains some reference to the concept of freedom. So freedom fighters fighting freedom fighters is not an uncommon concept.

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It is not really apples to apples comparison. Charlie Hebdo is perhaps tasteless, but never published racist or anti-semitic stuff. Mocking stereotypes (what would be in US called “racism”), yes, but when Dieudonné commented on a guy of Jewish descent that he is sorry that he didn’t “fly out of a chimney”, that is a bit of a different calibre, IMO.

If you read French, have a look at this article to have an idea:

France, land of free speech

For a more nuanced view of French laïcité, please see this blog entry by Olivier Tonneau: On Charlie Hebdo: A Letter to My British Friends

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As an impartial viewer, sure. It’s more the “is aware of that” that makes it absurd.

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Ugh. Most of what I know about this guy is from a family member of mine, who totally out of the blue a few years ago became a vocal anti-semite and holocaust denier. He practically worships ‘Dieudo’.

Speaking of head-scratching…