François Hollande explains the difference between Charlie Hebdo and Dieudonné

During an episode of Le Supplement, Francois Hollande debated with a group of five high schoolers. The students, who were not all Muslims, called out the newspaper for being Islamophobic and argued there was a double-standard concerning Charlie Hebdo and comedian Dieudonné.

 

“In France, we can mock religion. It’s even a principle of freedom. There is no prohibition of blasphemy in French law like there is in other countries. However, no one has the right to spread hate. That’s why Charlie, when there was a doubt, was brought before the courts and was not convicted, and why Dieudonné, due to certain circumstances, after certain remarks, was convicted,” Hollande said. He even distinguished between “freedom of expression pushed to its limits” and “advocating hatred.”

 

One of the students responded, “Should we hide laughing at Dieudonné? Should we be ashamed of liking his shows?” Surprised, Hollande responded: “We must think…why do we laugh at that? When he dresses up as a Nazi and says we must kills Jews, is it funny?” He continued, “If he mocked Hitler, it’s not a problem. If he mocks Jews who escaped concentration camps or who died in gas chambers, that is advocating hatred.”