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 10:27 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Hamas' tactics have changed -- now the group is using commando-like tactics, says CNN's Ben Wedeman.
updated 11:40 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Some contend that larger weapons have come into Ukraine from Russia.
updated 5:51 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
updated 8:21 PM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Prince George isn't your average one year old. He started walking before he was one. Oh, and, he's going to be king -- of 16 countries.
updated 7:36 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Former President Bill Clinton acknowledges he got "very close" to helping achieve peace in the Middle East.
updated 2:21 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
updated 7:27 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Inspirational, creepy or just weird? CNN meets the 51-year-old man who dresses like a schoolgirl.
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
A British nanotech company has created what it says is the world's darkest material.
updated 7:12 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Yoga, meditation and watching a snake eat a frog alive: these are some of the experiences to be had at this Himalayan yoga retreat.
updated 7:52 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
The world's largest flying aquatic insect, with huge, nightmarish pincers, has been discovered in China's Sichuan province, experts say.
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