French Comedian Dieudonne Arrested Over Charlie Facebook Post
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French Comedian Dieudonne Arrested Over Charlie Facebook Post

French police arrested comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala over a Facebook comment that shows sympathy with the Paris kosher supermarket gunman.

Dieudonne, who has multiple convictions for inciting racial hatred against Jews, was arrested Wednesday, the French news agency AFP reported, on suspicion that he incited to terrorist acts.

His arrest was over a statement that appeared on his Facebook page following the killing of 17 people in three terrorist attacks in Paris last week.

“Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly,” he wrote, a takeoff on the French expression for “I am Charlie,” widely used to support the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where 12 people were killed by two Islamist gunmen.

Amedy Coulibaly killed four Jewish men at a kosher supermarket in Paris on Jan. 9 after killing a policewoman the previous day. He reportedly had maps in his car marking the locations of Paris Jewish schools.

Dieudonne later removed the comment from his Facebook page.

He has been convicted seven times for inciting racial hatred against Jews and is facing an eighth trial for suggesting during a show that the French Jewish journalist Patrick Cohen belonged in a gas chamber. Dieudonne also is the originator of the quenelle, the increasingly popular gesture in France and Europe that has been called anti-Semitic and a quasi-Nazi salute.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Monday called Dieudonne’s remark “contemptible,” according to AFP. Dieudonne retorted by saying in a statement: “The government is ruining my life for making people laugh.”

Dieudonne reportedly participated in the Paris unity march on Sunday to express his support for free speech.

editor@jewishweek.org

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