“54 people were arrested in France as of Wednesday for “apologizing for terrorism” in the wake of the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office last week that left a dozen dead. French authorities also announced the country would crack down on what the Associated Press summarized as “hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism.”
The 54 arrested were rounded up for making or defending terrorist threats in the last week; some have already been sentenced under emergency guidelines.
One person hauled in was Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a controversial French comedian who sympathized with one of the Paris gunmen in a Facebook post. “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly,” he wrote, mixing Charlie Hebdo with the last name of the man who took hostage a Jewish deli. He has since deleted the post.
Dieudonné (his stage name) has been convicted of anti-Semitism under France’s harsh laws against anti-Semitic speech; his stage show was banned last year for Holocaust jokes. He gained international notoriety after he popularized a Nazi-like salute that was then made by French soccer player Nicolas Anelka.
Government spokesperson Stephane Le Foll said France was also considering Patriot Act-like measures, including wiretapping, to further combat terror plots — as well as urban projects to fight inequality, where it feels violence and hatred foments.” [Source]
OK, I thought they just had a big “freedom of speech” rally in France.
Shouldn’t all speech be free? Or is this the French equivalent to crying fire in a crowded theater?
I guess all “free speech” isn’t the same.
Let’s see how many pundits, comedians, and celebrities now come to the defense of Dieudonné M’bala M’bala. Because, sadly, as offensive and despicable as this guy is, he should still have the right to speak freely.
I just think that it’s kind of ironic that the right-wingnuts got all over the Obama administration for implying that a cartoon could have sparked some of the anger over Benghazi, and that some of the same people are now saying that radical extremists shouldn’t be allowed to kill people and cause terror because of an offensive cartoon in a print publication.
Just watch those “Patriot Act- like” measures people, sometimes they can have “unintended consequences. “