Dieudonne’s quenelle: What’s wrong with banning anti-Semitic hate speech?

Print More
Dieudonne cropped

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

The U.K. Home Office has banned French comedian Dieudonné, known for his anti-Semitic “quenelle” gesture, from entering Britain. France banned his show in January, prompting the comic to scrap a nationwide tour. What do we lose, and what do Dieudonné’s supporters gain, when hateful speech is suppressed?

  • @salawm

    The standards you mention are all US standards. They simply don’t apply in the UK.

    Additionally, it’s not just hate speech that is banned, but the disorder it can and will cause and has caused. Sure, it’s a slippery slope, but the slope gets much more slippery when these people speak.

    I believe America bans certain hate speakers from coming here as well.

  • Brian Pellot

    You’re absolutely right that I’m using very US-centric language (clear and present danger, inciting imminent violence, etc.). I’m doing so prescriptively, saying these are good universal tests, not saying they are the actual standards used in given countries. These are my opinions.

  • Guy

    great article. I have read a bit about this French Comedian and it is my POV that his comedy is more a social catalyst for change in the governmental structure rather than an outright bashing of Jews. France’s version of AIPAC won the battle years ago and the things we might hear from someone like Geller would not be ridiculed yet Dieudonné is. I think it is more a use of the old trick “anti-semitism” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW3a1bw5XlE

  • Rewat

    British Govt. has committed a blunder by not allowing Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer to speak in Britain. It is surprising that British Govt. is Clamping down on free speech.. Every one has right to speak their thoughts and mind. Britain who once was a model country of the world and a champion of Liberty and free speech has turned against it?. And that too just to appease Islamic fanaticism?. It is certainly mind boggling and unbelievable. It appears that present day Britain is definitely not being led by mentally sound bodies.

  • Pingback: Authors protest Sochi Olympics * Jews flee France * Comic heckles Christ: Religious Freedom Recap: Feb. 3-10 | On Freedom()