Forbidden to Laugh

Published: 2015-11-11

You would think that a Court of "Human Rights" would defend the right of a comedian to make jokes with a biting social commentary, Right? Cartoons about Mohammed are ok, yes. Mocking Jesus Christ is humorous, of course. All France united to protest the Islamic attacks on the iconoclast magazine Charlie Hebdo. Correct?

Well... think again. Europe has taboos as sacred as those of ISIS.

Europe’s top human rights court has rejected an appeal by the controversial French comic Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, saying the right to free expression does not protect antisemitism or Holocaust denial.

France attacks Dieudonné

Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala[/caption]

Dieudonne, as he is known, finished a December 2008 performance by inviting a prominent Holocaust denier on stage and then having an actor dressed to resemble a concentration camp prisoner offer him a prize. He was convicted of hate-crime charges by a French court in October 2009 and fined €10,000. He lost repeated appeals, and took his case to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights.

No Luck there either. The Court's Press release read, "In its decision in the case of M’Bala M’Bala v. France (application no. 25239/13) the European Court of Human Rights has by a majority declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final."

The Court based its ruling on the fact "that Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala could not have been unaware of the fact that Robert Faurisson was one of the leading advocates of Holocaust denial and that the offending remarks would be both insulting and contemptuous towards persons of Jewish origin or faith" and "The Court thus concluded that Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala had sought to deflect Article 10 from its real purpose by using his right to freedom of expression for ends which were incompatible with the letter and spirit of the Convention and which, if admitted, would contribute to the destruction of Convention rights and freedoms." My goodness!

The ECHR ruling is even odder given that on October 15, 2015... "In a landmark free speech ruling, the ECHR judges ruled by 10 votes to seven that Dogu Perinçek, chairman of Turkey’s Patriotic party, should never have been convicted of racial discrimination by a Swiss court for saying that the “Armenian genocide is a great international lie”. This despite that the Swiss side argued that denying that a genocide occurred was tantamount to “accusing the Armenians of falsifying history, one of the worst forms of racial discrimination.”

Why would the ECHR judges let someone off who accused Armenians of falsifying history and adamantly allow the punishment of a comedian and social critic?

Why did the Audience Love it?

The problem is that M'Bala M'Bala is black, (his father is from Cameroon) That a black man would be challenging Holocaust Belief undercuts the claim that Revisionism is "racist." Even worse, Dieudonné's growing audiences consisted mainly of young disenfranchised Blacks and Arabs/French. As the ECHR judges noted, "It also observed that the audience’s reaction showed that the anti-Semitic nature of the scene had been appreciated by them." That is probably not true. The truth is that Dieudonné is an iconoclast. He has accurately spotted the Great Taboo of Western Society and holds it up for ridicule. The young and disenfranchised loved the see the sacred icons mocked.

In reality, Dieudonné's audiences probably have less knowledge or concern with the alleged history of the "Holocaust" than the judges of the ECHR who enforce Holocaust Belief. Dieudonné did not present any political theories or even say anything anti-Semitic. He was busted for having a revisionist on stage under the smear of having committed a "Hate Crime."

The Court Missed It

The august Court missed Dieudonné's irony of having Robert Foreseen awarded a "prize" by another victim of bigotry. The professor has been attacked, fined, arrested, stripped of his job and title....he is the modern pariah...punished and attacked for NOT believing. Of course, if the judges had made the connection between concentration camp inmates and persecuted revisionist scholars, they would not have been able to reject Dieudonné's appeal.

Out To Get Him

Clearly, the French government is after Dieudonné. In 2013, Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who was then the country’s interior minister, stated that he would try and ban all of the comedian’s performances after M’Bala M’Bala joked about a Jewish journalist being sent to a gas chamber. The ban on his shows has been upheld by French courts. On 14 June 2006, Dieudonné was sentenced to a penalty of €4,500 for defamation after having called a prominent Jewish television presenter a "secret donor of the child-murdering Israeli army". On 26 June 2008, he was sentenced in the highest judicial instance to a €7,000 fine for his characterization of Holocaust commemorations as "memorial pornography." On 8 June 2010, he was sentenced to a fine of €10,000 for defamation of the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism, which he had called "a mafia-like association that organizes censorship".

On 10 October 2012, he was fined €887,135 for tax evasion.

Our advice for Mr. M'Bala M'Bala, stick to ridiculing Christians, Moslems, or Armenians. Holocaust Belief is protected.

The high sounding ECHR "is based in Strasbourg, in the Human Rights Building designed by the British architect Lord Richard Rogers in 1994 – a building whose image is known worldwide. From here, the Court monitors respect for the human rights of 800 million Europeans in the 47 Council of Europe member States that have ratified the Convention."

The Press Release indicates that it was a split decision, but the Judges who rendered the disgraceful ruling were:
Josep Casadevall (Andorra), President, Angelika Nußberger (Germany), Boštjan M. Zupancic (Slovenia), Vincent A. de Gaetano (Malta), André Potocki (France), Helena Jäderblom (Sweden), Síofra O’Leary (Ireland).
Their individual votes were not released.

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<p><u>NOTE:>/u> On 25 November 2015, Dieudonné was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment by a Belgian court for his remarks about Hitler (“sweet kid,” “joyful braggart”) and for Holocaust denial committed during a show he gave in Liège, Belgium, in 2012 (<a target="_new" href="http://goo.gl/amJt4r">goo.gl/amJt4r</a>).

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Author(s) David Merlin
Title Forbidden to Laugh
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Dates published: 2015-11-11, first posted on CODOH: Nov. 12, 2015, 6:38 a.m., last revision: n/a
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