Skip to main content

French comedian Dieudonne banned from entering UK

By Claudia Rebazza, CNN
updated 12:04 PM EST, Mon February 3, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dieudonne M'bala M'bala has been widely associated with the "quenelle" gesture
  • Many people say his trademark gesture is a Nazi salute in reverse
  • Comedian has voiced support for soccer player penalized for gesture

London (CNN) -- The French comedian at the center of the controversy over the "quenelle" gesture has been banned from entering Britain, UK authorities said Monday.

Dieudonne M'bala M'bala has been widely associated with the gesture -- which involves pointing the right arm straight down and touching that arm with the left hand -- that many believe is a Nazi salute in reverse.

Dieudonne counters that it is anti-establishment but not anti-Semitic.

"We can confirm that Mr. Dieudonne is subject to an exclusion order," Britain's Home Office said.

"The Home Secretary will seek to exclude an individual from the UK if she considers that there are public policy or public security reasons to do so."

The comedian has voiced his support for controversial French soccer star Nicolas Anelka, who faces a possible five-match suspension after being charged by the English Football Association for making a "quenelle" gesture in December.

The 34-year-old striker made the sign after scoring for his Premier League team, West Bromwich Albion, against West Ham on December 28.

Anelka has insisted that the gesture was a dedication to his friend Dieudonne.

The 46-year-old Dieudonne, who ran in the European elections as an anti-Zionist, has been fined several times in France for anti-Semitic commentary. The French government said last month that it wanted to ban his live performances.

READ: French comic banned: Victory for French values?

READ: Anti-Semitism row shines light on fractured French society

CNN's Marie-Louise Gumuchian contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
updated 12:52 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
CNN's Will Ripley travels to North Korea, visiting an international wrestling festival and a slide-filled water park.
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
In a raid on a luxury apartment complex, agents caught up with a French-Algerian man they accuse of bringing back terror to Europe.
updated 8:02 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about trying to get a hostage home alive.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
South Africa Music Legends stamps
Artist Hendrik Gericke puts a spotlight on iconic performers from South Africa in these incredible monochrome illustrations.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT