In this May 13, 2009 file photo, controversial French comic Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, known as Dieudonne, answers reporters as he heads for the interior Ministry to submit a list of candidates for the upcoming European elections, in Paris. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere, File)
PARIS (AP) - A French comic whose gesture touched off allegations of anti-Semitism and prompted a government ban on his shows is defiant, saying the "quenelle" has nothing to do with the Nazi salute.
"Of course it's not an anti-Semitic gesture. I'm going to repeat it 20 times. It's a gesture of emancipation, of panache," Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala told The Associated Press on Friday.
Soccer player Nicolas Anelka faces an English Football Association disciplinary hearing after formally denying a racism charge for celebrating a goal with the gesture. Dieudonne was banned on Monday from entering the United Kingdom in a trip he had planned as a show of support for Anelka.
"It's a rather modern gesture" that Dieudonne said he invented. "Everyone is appropriating this gesture their own way."
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