France may be the epicenter of the world’s sympathy right now in the wake of the shocking attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices but the country itself still has some explaining to do since it’s still rounding up comedians for making jokes that are deemed to be too offensive for public consumption. The latest happened to a comedian named Dieudonne M’bala M’bala who is facing charges simply for posting a joke on his Facebook page.
Dieudonne participated in the recent rallies in support of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack and soon after the rally, he posted a note on his Facebook page calling the event “a magical moment comparable to the big bang.” He later posted, “I’m finally going home. Know that this evening, as far as I’m concerned, I’m feeling like Charlie Coulibaly” referring to the newspaper and Amedy Coulibaly, one of the terrorists connected to the Charlie Hebdo shooting who died in a standoff with police in a Jewish supermarket. French police swooped in and arrested Dieudonne on charges of condoning terrorism in connection with his “Coulibaly” comment. Dieudonne has also been accused of promoting anti-Semitism with his comedy and the French government has closed down several of his shows over similar concerns.
He’s also not the only person arrested for posting or making an offensive joke or comment that has been deemed to be a terroristic threat since the Charlie Hebdo attacks. According to the BBC, France filed 37 additional cases of condoning terrorism including a man who only posted a video mocking one of the policemen murdered in the attacks.
It’s sad to see a country ravaged by terror over something as simple as a joke that can still turn right around and throw someone in jail for making a joke. Such a concept sounds like just another bad joke.