By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
England has banned the French comedian Dieudonne from entering the country. The reason given for preventing entry of the entertainer into England is public safety.
Dieudonne has been convicted, on multiple occasions, of hate speech and anti-Semitism. He is the mastermind behind and the creator of the quenelle - the reverse Nazi salute. He was coming to England to perform a show and to show support for his friend Anelka, a former Frenchman professional soccer player who performed the quenelle after scoring a goal in December. Anelka was disciplined for the act.
An official government spokesperson said, "The home secretary (Theresa May) will seek to exclude an individual from the UK if she considers that there are public policy or public security reasons to do so."
Dieudonne was performing in Switzerland when he received the news. His response was to shout the Queen's name and give her the quenelle.
The obvious issues of free speech arise. And yet, both France and England are satisfied that there is a greater risk to public safety- than freedom of speech.
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