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Is Dieudonné Europe's Most Rabid Anti-Semite? The Quenelle Comedian in Quotes

A furious public debate about controversial comedian Dieudonné and freedom of speech has grabbed the attention fo the French public in recent weeks.

France's socialist government has instructed local authorities to keep the 47-year-old off stage, thus preventing him from going on a national tour, over the alleged anti-Semitic content of his show.

Dieudonné and his supporters deny his comedy is anti-Semitic, claiming it is anti-establishment and anti-Zionist. They say that attempts to gag him undermine freedom of speech.

The son of a Cameroonian father and a Breton mother, the popular humourist is not new to controversy and accusations of inciting racial hatred.

During his two-decade-long stage career he has collected six convictions for hate speech and has to pay €65,000 (£53,000) in related fines.

IBTimes UK has collected some of Dieudonné's most controversial remarks about Jews, Israel and other issues.

January 2002:

Racism was invented by Abraham. 'The Chosen People' is the beginning of racism [...] For me, the Jews, are a sect, a scam. It is one of the most serious because it's the first. Some Muslims take the same path when reviving concepts like the 'holy war'.

In 2007 France's court of cassation upheld a conviction against Dieudonné for racial slander over this comment.

February 2002:

Bin Laden is the most important figure of contemporary history. He has managed to change the balance of power and the way of fighting. He is alone against the world's biggest power. So, inevitably that inspires respect."

Dieudonné was acquitted from charges of apology of terrorism by an appeal court in 2004.

February 2004:

'Dirty nigger, the Jews will have your skin,' I've heard this kind of slogans. They are all slave traders turned bankers, [converted to] the show-business and today to terrorist action they show supporting the policies of Ariel Sharon. Those who attack me have founded empires and fortunes on the slave trade and slavery.

The comment gained Dieudonné his first fine for promoting racial hatred, €5,000.

February 2005:

Anti-Semitism, it does not mean anything anymore [...] That's a big scam [...] a manipulation. I talk about memorial pornography. I believe that it becomes pornographic."

Dieudonné claimed that this remark, made during a press conference in Algiers, was misinterpreted by the media and taken out of context.

April 2009:

[They are] a Mafioso-like association that organize censorship. [...] that denies all the concepts of racism apart from that concerning the Jews. Actually they're anything but an Israeli back room.

Dieudonné referred to the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra). He was fined €5,000.

April 2010:

"The biggest crooks on the planet are all Jews [...] You ought to be a Jew to have [right to] freedom of speech in France. It's the reality; to say the opposite is to be afraid."

This comment was made in reply to a remark by French Jewish journalist Eric Zemmour, who said that the most part of traffickers were Arabs and Blacks.

April 2010:

In France, the Holocaust has now become almost a dominant religion; it has even replaced Jesus Christ. We are obliged to accept this dogma.

Comment made during an interview with an Iranian television channel.

June 2010:

He is a guide to me."

Referring to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a show dedicated to former Iranian president and titled "Mahmoud".

February 2013:

It's a Zionist plan to divide the people [...] Today, in France, we can laugh at everything but Gay marriage and the Holocaust.

Comment made in reference to the "marriage for all" bill approved by the French parliament o legalise gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

December 2013:

When I hear him talking, I say to myself: Patrick Cohen, hmm... the gas chambers... what a shame."

Interior minister Manuel Valls first called for Dieudonné to be banned from the national stage after this comment directed at Jewish journalist Patrick Cohen.