Controversial French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who is known for inventing the inverted Nazi salute known as the quenelle, on Wednesday was found guilty of expressing support for terrorism after January’s Islamist attacks at the Charlie Hebdo magazine and Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket.
In the days after the two attacks, Dieudonne wrote on Facebook that he felt “like Charlie Coulibaly,” referencing the perpetrator of the attack on the magazine, and playing on the “I am Charlie” catchphrase that became popular in the wake of that attack.
Dieudonne had already been convicted of hate speech several times, and for the latest remark he was given a suspended sentence of two months in jail. But he will not serve any prison time, and the sentence is much lower than the seven years of incarceration with a 100,000-euro ($106,000) fine he had faced.
France criminalizes the expression of racist views, including on the Internet. “The feeling of hostility towards the Jewish community that Dieudonne kept up in front of a public attracted by his charisma increases his responsibility,” the court wrote in its decision, Reuters reported.