I don’t know much about either the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo or the shows by this controversial black performer called Dieudonné. But people haven’t even gone back home from the historic march and the govt is wasting no time in trying to get Dieudonné sentenced and condemned. For which crime? Freedom of expression the government doesn’t like.
The French govt has asked that an investigation into the controversial black performer be made – the accusation? “Incitement to terrorism” because Dieudonné said that after the attack he felt like “Charlie Coulibaly” – and that is criminal speech according to the govt. Now that’s hypocrisy.
Dieudonné loves to provoke the French and it would be magnificent if he were imprisoned for his speech while the French were hysterically declaring their love of freedom of expression. Many of his shows have been censored by the French govt and he is still being prosecuted for criminal speech by the government for past declarations.
In addition, Dieudonné said he did go to the historical demonstration on Sunday. He qualified it as “a magical moment like the Big Bang”, “comparable to the crowning of Vercingétorix”.
I don’t know, but it seems Dieudonné is much more intelligent than this trash of vile racism and sexism and anti-religionism that was the Charlie Hebdo – but then I remember reading mentions that Dieudonné hates Jews, Israel, whatever, so who knows.
[ADDED:] These articles and comments seem to confirm the above – the profound quality different between the grotesquely trashy Charlie Hebdo, voice of the French elites “sclérosées”, and Dieudo:
Comment on Le Parisien :
Tout simplement c’ent grotesque, c’est que Dieudonné a dit, n’a rien pour inciter à la violence. Ce qui s’est passé à Paris est inhumain, une barbarie, mais l’hypocrésie des politiciens, le double discours… comme si les morts français étaient plus importants que les morts par milliers dans le reste du monde et c’est ça qui fait qu’on se sent comme un “Charlie Coulibaly”, d’un côté révolté par cette barbarie…mais aussi laissé pour compte quand les autres ont été victimes d’actes terroristes. Ceux qui nous sentons aujourd’hui “Charlie Coulibaly”, aujourd’hui, nous voulons la paix, car la guerre, la haîne c’es trop dur… Le monde a besoin de paix, mais les politiciens français ont choisi le camp de l’affrontement contre tous ceux qui n’auront pas mis sur la hierarchie des souffrances, celle de la Shoa en premier et celle de Charlie Hebdo en deuxième et le reste, celles des noirs, celles des autochtones, celles de arabes, loin derrière… Non, c’est M. Valls qui fait l’appologie de la violence, de la guerre, de la confrontation… Une chance que j’habite finalement dans un pays beaucoup plus tolérent que la France, et j’en suis très heureuse.
[ADDED Jan 13 – 2014:]
The New Yorker has an article on Dieudonné that tells of some of his excesses:
“Dieudonné plays a game of deliberate ambiguity,” says Damien Glez, a writer and cartoonist from Burkina Faso who has written about Dieudonné for Jeune Afrique, a francophone magazine published in Paris. “He is using a lot of the language and metaphors of old-fashioned French anti-Semitism before a young audience that does not have a very developed idea of anti-Semitism. They don’t know who Robert Faurisson is. And then you take this into the banlieue, where many young people feel oppressed by Islamophobia and angry and frustrated about the Palestinians. And everything is ambiguous and mixed together: anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, and anti-system anger. Humor and hatred. The resentment of the Le Pen right and the anger of the recent immigrants of the banlieue. Even the gesture of the quenelle is ambiguous.”
This gesture, which Dieudonné began using a few years ago, is not, strictly speaking, a Nazi salute—rather than raising a stiff right arm up in the air, he points his arm down, and then places his left hand on his right shoulder. In his video “Hollande” he calls the quenelle a signal of “faith and courage,” and attributes its meaning to his encounter with a young, white seventeen-year-old cancer victim, who performed the quenelle in front of an M.R.I. machine and onstage with Dieudonné.
“It’s a gesture of the free man in front of the system of his jailers,” Dieudonné said in a video made last September after the minister of defense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, disciplined two French soldiers for doing the quenelle. “We piss on your institutions, Monsieur Le Drian, we shit on your government and on your Republic and on your shitty democracy. We are for a coup d’état, done by farce, by non-violence, by the quenelle,” Dieudonné said. What he didn’t explain is that the soldiers had been photographed while making the gesture in front of a synagogue. Many of Dieudonné’s followers have connected the quenelle to his anti-Semitic rants: several have posted pictures of themselves doing it in front of Holocaust monuments and even in front of the entrance to Auschwitz.
To me, doing this “satirical” salute in front of anything related to the Holocaust is really pushing it in terms of offense, but I also think some of the Charlie Hebdo pornographic cartoons about religions are profoundly offensive (in addition, specifically because they are pornographic, that is the main vehicle for offending the concept of religion, and pornography is horrendously degrading and offensive).
And that’s the problem with free speech. In the end, we see that the powerful always find a way to defend themselves from being publicly insulted and degraded, and the powerless are the endless targets of the same. Dominant narratives and ideologies are considered sacred, questioning and marginalized ones must be silenced. The justification keeps being labeled differently throughout history, but it’s all the same, whether heresy, blasphemy, hate speech, un-patriotic speech, pro-terrorist speech, etc.
However, if these expressions à la Charlie Hebdo or à la Dieudonné or many others are then used to justify the institution of laws taking away our most basic civil liberties, such as freedom of expression, information, religion, and assembly, then the world has learned nothing – and it becomes clear that the modern world has invented a new form of government: a dictatorial form of democracy. You vote (in mostly irrelevant ways) but you are not and you cannot be free. By law. For your own good.
[Jan 14, 2015] Le Monde reports on speech crackdown in France – govt pursuing 50 ppl for their speech this week
Some were told to appear before the police while three were arrested – put in prison, censored, and punished for their speech. Seriously, what hypocrisy.
Seules cinq condamnations ont pour l’instant été prononcées, et les peines sont très lourdes.
La plus sévère concerne un homme de 34 ans qui, après un accident de la circulation à Haulchain (Nord), s’en est pris, le 11 janvier, aux policiers en défendant les attentats : il a été condamné à quatre ans de prison ferme. L’apologie du terrorisme n’était toutefois qu’une circonstance aggravante : il avait refusé de se soumettre à l’alcootest, était en récidive et l’accident a causé des blessures involontaires.
Deux autres lourdes peines ont été prononcées à Orléans et à Toulon le 12 janvier — un an de prison ferme, avec à chaque fois huit à neuf mois avec sursis — ainsi que deux rappels à la loi à Saint-Etienne le 11 janvier, et la veille à Courbevoie (Hauts-de-Seine). Ces deux derniers concernent des hommes qui hurlaient dans la rue, mais sans viser personne en particulier. L’un d’eux avait lancé « je suis fier d’être musulman, je n’aime pas Charlie, ils ont eu raison de faire ça ».
En savoir plus sur http://www.lemonde.fr/police-justice/article/2015/01/14/une-cinquantaine-de-procedures-ouvertes-pour-apologie-du-terrorisme_4555819_1653578.html#RiC8YftDKJM6Jj5w.99