Facebook announced on Monday that it permanently bans French comedian and convicted anti-Semite Dieudonné from both Facebook and Instagram for posting content mocking Holocaust victims and fop using “dehumanizing terms against Jews.”
Facebook issued a statement saying: “In line with our policy on dangerous individuals and organizations, we have permanently banned Dieudonné M’bala M’bala from Facebook and Instagram,” adding that “Banning a person permanently from our services is a decision that we always weigh carefully, but individuals and organizations that attack others on the basis of what they are do not have a place on Facebook or Instagram.”
Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, 54, known by his stage name Dieudonné, is a French comedian, actor and political activist who has been convicted for hate speech, advocating terrorism, and slander in Belgium and in France.
Dieudonné, who has been convicted eight times on anti-Semitism charges, in 2008 described Holocaust remembrance as “memorial pornography.” He has subsequently found himself banned from mainstream media with ever-growing frequency, and many of his shows were cancelled. His quenelle signature gesture—a kind of Heil Hitler across the chest, became notorious in 2013, after soccer star Nicolas Anelka used it during a match.
In 2013, after Dieudonné was recorded during a performance suggesting it was a pity that a Jewish journalist was not sent to the gas chambers, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls stated that Dieudonné was “no longer a comedian” but was rather an “anti-Semite and a racist” and that he would seek to ban all his public events as public safety risks. In January 2017, the court of appeal of Liège confirmed a sentence of two months’ jail time and a 9,000-euro fine for Dieudonné’s anti-Semitic remarks in a performance in Herstal in March 2012.
Dieudonné has been known to associate with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran from 2005 to 2013, an avid Holocaust denier. Ahmadinejad tweeted in February 2015: “Visiting an old friend, a great artist,” and posted photographs of himself and Dieudonné, arms around each other, smiling. The two also met in 2009 during a visit by Dieudonné to Iran where they reportedly discussed their shared anti-Zionist views.