B’nai Brith in Montreal is urging officials to refuse the French performer Dieudonne from entering into Canada. Dieudonne has multiple convictions and fines for making anti-Semitic statements against Jews in France and Belgium.
The controversial comedian, who routinely makes jokes about gas chambers and has publicly denied the Holocaust, is booked to play 10 shows in Quebec next month.
Steven Slimovitch, a lawyer for B'nai Brith Canada, said he cannot understand why Canada would welcome someone who has been convicted of willfully promoting hatred.
He said the comedian should not be permitted entry into the country, and B'nai Brith will try to block him.
"Any citizen of Canada has a right to address a complaint to Canada Border Services Agency, which is what we've done in the past, which is what we will do again in the present situation.”
Last year Dieudonne, whose real name is Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, was found guilty in France of condoning terrorism, after posting a joke on his Facebook page about the deadly Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris. He has also been convicted numerous times for defamation.
Montreal mayor Denis Coderre made it clear that the comedian is not welcome.
“When you promote hatred, you promote social division,” Coderre posted on Twitter on Friday.
"If I was in charge, I would say, 'You don't have anything to do here.' We're at the eve of Passover. This is the capital of the living together and I think that freedom of speech doesn't include hatred … and he's not welcome," Coderre said.