The Home Office of the United Kingdom has banned a controversial French comedian from entering British soil.
47-year-old Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, known by his stage name Dieudonné, has had several of his stand-up shows in France cancelled by authorities, who claim he incites racial hatred and anti-Semitic sentiment.
Dieudonné is a friend of footballer Nicolas Anelka, who currently plays for English Premier League team West Bromwich Albion, and who faces disciplinary action from the English FA for performing a “quenelle” gesture, seen by some as an anti-semitic reverse Nazi salute, after scoring a goal last month. Dieudonné claims to have invented the gesture but denies it has any anti-Semitic or racist meaning, describing it as simply “anti-establishment.” Anelka has also insisted he is “neither anti-semitic or racist.”
Dieudonné had intended to visit Anelka in the UK to show his support. That will be difficult now the Home Office has issued an exclusion order against him. The order states that “If he travels he will be denied entry at the UK border.” Anyone carrying him into British territory faces a fine of up to £10,000 (around 12,000 euros).