A ban on a performance by controversial anti-Semite Dieudonne M’bala M’bala has been upheld by a French court, just hours after a lower court overturned it.
Dieudonne has been at the center of a media storm since his “quenelle” neo-Nazi salute drew attention in recent months, most notably after photos of NBA star Tony Parker making the salute began circulating, and the French government has been threatening to censure the comedian in return.
France has strict laws on racial incitement, and just last week Dieudonne found himself in a back-and-forth after he implied a Jewish journalist should have gone to the gas chambers.
Today, an administrative court in the city of Nantes rejected a previous suggestion from a municipal administrator that an upcoming performance by Dieudonne would “cause offense to basic human dignity.”
Now, France’s highest court has upheld the original ruling, declaring Dieudonne banned from the show, which would have taken place tonight. Five thousand tickets had already been sold.
Early this week French Foreign Minister Manuel Valls announced to local mayors they had official authority to prohibit public appearances by Dieudonne, who has a history of anti-Semitic behavior. Much of his material makes reference to the Holocaust, and he has been similarly censured in the past.
European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor applauded the legal move today, calling the decision “a triumph for the values of democracy and for the French Republic.”