Rabat – The French newspaper Le Parisien reported on January 15 that the controversial French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, better known by his stage name Dieudonné, sent a letter to Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the November 2015 killings in Paris that left 130 people dead, asking for his help with a book about the causes of terrorism.
In the one-page letter which dates back to September 30, the humorist and polemicist Dieudonné requested a meeting with the alleged terrorist to contribute to a forthcoming book called, “How to Stop Terrorist Attacks in France?”
“We do not want to talk about the acts that you are blamed for. What interests us is to understand your state of mind and the reasons that drove you to act this way,” the letter reads.
“Violence is a mode of expression that arises when all others have failed: the aim of the attack is to send a strong message that can not be conveyed otherwise. In any case, that’s how we understand it. By discussing with you, we hope to better understand the deep revolt that resides in you and to which society remains deaf,” wrote the comedian.
In an attempt to convince Abdeslam to take part in his project, Dieudonné told him that he himself has already faced a number of charges of racism and anti-Semitism following the 2015 shooting at Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine.
“I was myself convicted of apologizing for an act of terrorism, at the time of the so-called Charlie Hebdo attacks. I was criticized for writing on the Internet, ‘Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel Charlie Coulibaly,’” Dieudonné said.
For these charges, the comedian received a two-month suspended sentence and a fine of EUR 10,000.
According to Gerard Chemla, lawyer of the National Federation of Victims of Terrorist Attacks and Accidents Collective (Fenvac), Dieudonné’s letter has angered survivors and families of the 130 people who died.
“The humorist presents the terrorist as a victim of society in a state of self-defense, and from this analysis, anything can be legitimized,” Chemla said.
One of the lawyers of the controversial humorist, Jacques Verdier, said that his client is simply trying to understand the driving force behind these acts.
“It’s a construction job that Mr. Dieudonné is doing with two psychotherapists,” he said, adding that the examining magistrate opposed a meeting between Dieudonné and Abdeslam, who has been incarcerated in Fleury-Mérogis since April 27, 2016.