My immediate concern is the affect the gesture is having on younger generations. In other terms what if it is playing a didactic role in diffusing xenophobia under the guise of a cultural phenomenon- even a humorous and “harmless” gesture? If that is the case as they say, then we should ask ourselves what else would make someone to pose in front of Auschwitz-Birkenau while performing the “quenelle” for a photo? An innocuous antic?
Whatever the case may be the fact remains that the “quenelle” is a means to spread hatred, namely anti-semitism, and ignorance is the locomotive by which it can be spread. It is not an issue of free speech, rather one of defamation.
About the Author: Milad Doroudian is a history student at the University of British Columbia and a writer. He is currently working on a book on the Jassy Pogrom of 1941.
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