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The Quenelle

We all saw it a couple of months ago.  Nicholas Anelka dropped the ‘Q’ bomb.  What I want to know if how has such controversy arose from something I personally have never seen in my life before. 

My initial reaction to the QuenelIe was pretty none challant.  Ivsaw it as very similar to the English equivalent of ‘up yours.’. A quick google of Quenelle and it seemed that my supposed interpretation was in fact not too far off.  The best example of this was a picture of a French bloke, with a shirt with varying levels of Quenelle on it, from a meager 40cm Quenelle to the full blown shoulder variant.

A little further research though can reveal the true nature of the symbol.  The word comes from an elongated fish dish in France,  it’s said this dish looks rather like a suppository, hence the French phrase, ‘mettre une quenelle,’ (‘to give someone the quenelle’). Dieudonné M’bala M’bala the man credited with the creation of the gesture has been branded as anti Semite, with notable leaders in the Jewish world branding it a direct symbol for the sodomy of the Jewish community over the course of the Holocaust.

Despite this M’Bala M’Bala remains defiant and has in fact opened a law suit against these critics who have likened his gesture to a Nazi salute.  He remains adamant it is an anti-Zionist expression rather than anti-Semite.

Back to Anelka who we now know no longer has a contract with West From, has been left out in the cold for his (as the player stated) support of a close friend.  While I do not think it was a brilliant idea for Anelka to reproduce the gesture, I do believe the termination of his contract may have been a step far. Although on the other hand West From have lost their sponsorship deal over the affair. We have previously seen lesser punishments for other players in Europe accused of racism, surely this is a similar sort of thing?

About Rob Bown

I am a Student at Derby University studying for an undergraduate degree in English. Lifelong music fan, I go to as many gigs as possible. And of course die hard football fan.

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