Infamous French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala was turned away at the border of Canada upon landing in Montreal, Canadian human rights foundation Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) said Tuesday.
The controversial comic was scheduled to perform 10 shows in Montreal starting Wednesday, and had several other shows planned in Trois-Rivieres and Quebec City.
According to reports, Dieudonne was found guilty of violating hate speech laws in France, and was handed a 10,000 euro fine and two month suspended jail sentence. Canadian immigration law states that admission into the country is not guarenteed for anyone with an outstanding criminal conviction for up to five years.
Dieudonne has publicly denied the Holocaust and consistently jokes about Jewish conspiracies. He has been fined numerous times for violating hate speech laws in Europe.
His signature gesture, called the quennelle, mimics the Nazi salute.
Dieudonne has been condemned by several Jewish groups, as well as French politicians and figures.
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls has said that Dieudonné is “no longer a comedian” but rather an “anti-Semite and racist” and that he would seek to ban all Dieudonné’s performances and gatherings as a public safety risk.
“We are pleased that Dieudonne was sent back home,” said FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo, “and we hope he is never allowed to return.”
“At the same time, we are saddened that he was invited to Montreal in the first place and despite his racism, he filled ten shows.
Given that he has publicly denied the Holocaust and frequently makes jokes about gas chambers and invented Jewish conspiracies, what does this say about our social environment?” Benlolo asked.