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Paris mayor joins calls for ban from stage of French comic

Published on Jan 5, 2014 9:02 PM

PARIS (AFP) - The mayor of Paris on Sunday joined France's interior minister in calling for comedian Dieudonne, whose vitriolic brand of humour targeting Jews has caused outrage, to be banned from the stage.

Dieudonne has been part of France's comedy scene for years, but while he started out with a Jewish comedian in sketches that mocked racism, he gradually veered to the far-right and alienated some fans with anti-Jewish comments - his latest being a joke about gas chambers.

He has been fined several times for defamation, using insulting language, hate speech and racial discrimination, and a provocative arm gesture he makes has been described as an upside down Nazi salute.

Dieudonne says the so-called "quenelle" gesture merely represents his anti-establishment views arguing that the horrors of the Holocaust are given too much focus to the exclusion of other crimes, like slavery and racism.

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