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French Interior Minister Says OK To Ban Comic's Show

France's interior minister says local officials are allowed to ban shows by a comic some regard as anti-Semitic.

Manuel Valls notified regional prefects on January 6 that they, along with mayors, can bar comic Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala from performing based on a potential risk to public order.

Dieudonne, who is about to begin a nationwide tour, has drawn criticism recently as a result of the growing popularity of his trademark arm gesture -- dubbed the "quenelle"-- which has been called an anti-Semitic code.

He has also prompted outrage with his anti-Jewish comments and anti-racism protests have been planned around his upcoming shows.

The controversial "quenelle" gesture also has been used publicly by sports stars like Nicolas Anelka and Tony Parker, among others, who deny it has anti-Semitic associations.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP