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Madonna: 'Intolerance' in Europe 'feels like Nazi Germany'

Rebounding from her stage tumble at the Brit awards, pop star Madonna told French radio Thursday that 'intolerance' was now so high in France and Europe that 'it feels like Nazi Germany.'

Speaking to Europe 1 radio in an interview to be aired Friday morning, Madonna said 'anti-Semitism is at an all-time high' in France and elsewhere in Europe, and likened the current atmosphere to the period when German fascism was on the ascent.

'We're living in crazy times. It feels like Nazi Germany,' the 56-year-old singer said, calling the situation 'scary,' and lamenting what she described as France's lost tradition of welcoming diversity and honouring freedom.

'It was a country that embraced everyone and encouraged freedom in every way, shape or form - artistic expression of freedom,' Madonna said. 'Now that's completely gone. France was once a country that accepted people of colour, and was a place artists escaped to, whether it was Josephine Baker or Charlie Parker.'

In fact, Charlie Parker only visited France briefly to play concert engagements, and unlike jazz legends such as Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke and Dexter Gordon, never took up French residency.

The globally-acclaimed entertainer also spoke out in 2012 when she denounced the rise of xenophobia and extreme-right parties in Europe.

The diva said her earlier comments were made when 'I was receiving a lot of criticism and threats from Marie (sic) Le Pen and her' National Front party, which Madonna described as 'fascist.'

The singer's spat with Marine Le Pen began after the far-right leader threatened to sue Madonna over a video featuring an image of Le Pen with a swastika on her forehead. The offending symbol was eventually replaced with a question mark to avoid litigation.

But Madonna said in the Europe 1 interview that the motives that led her to speak out against intolerance in 2012 were even more pressing today.

'What I said two years ago is valid today,' she said. 'It's not just happening in France, it's all over Europe. But particularly in France. The level of intolerance is so enormous, it's scary.'

From AFP Via Yahoo! News

Comments

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Alex

I think it is pretty unfair to say france is a racist country.

Look at what France has been doing over History or how many immigrants live there (and receive help and money from France) and compare it with other states throughout the world...

Besides, I think the USA have their fare share of racism (especially after all those terrorist attacks or even the poor black guy shot by the police) so it's a bit easy and REDUCTIVE from her-rings a bell?- to put France under the spotlight...

Gary M

@felicity: You take a very simplistic world view! Tolerance has to be a two-way process for it to work, and I think you will find many Muslims are far from tolerant! I am a gay man living in London and I have, on three occasions (with friends, not on my own), been the subject of homophobic abuse from Muslims (they were quoting the Koran at us), all of which we reported to the police as the hate crimes that they are.

Tracy raises a very valid point about Sweden: a little bit of research outside of the manipulated mainstream media will provide a very different viewpoint.

If the world is going to change for the better, we need to eradicate extremism (never gonna happen) and make everyone realise that tolerance is a two-way deal.

I agree that intolerance breeds further intolerance... but sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to find out which party is REALLY the intolerant one.

felicity

I think the worse racism now is against Muslim people, although anti-semetism is still pretty bad. But in France especially people are so racist against Muslims (and elsewhere) and seem to think it's fine to say they don't like them because "they are the problem." So dumb it's unbelievable (the fact that you are saying that shows that YOU are the problem too since prejudice breads tensions between people, and when a person is treated poorly, for whatever reason, they will act out in response - this has been shown in many psychological experiments. People sense when they are not tolerated/welcomed and don't usually respond by turning the other cheek, understandably!) In Paris once I was unable to get into any club in the centre because all my friends were Arab looking - we got told that it was a "private party" and turned away so many times. I was so shocked. This was in the 90s. But of course if M turned up at a club with all non-white friends, she would never get turned away so I don't know how she can really know what's going on.

Tracy

Totally agree, @Daniel. She hasn't commented on all the problems in Sweden, which are far worse than what is happening in Paris. But, then, I guess she isn't even aware of what is going on there (despite her professed love for ABBA, LOL!).

It would be interesting to hear what she has to say about the 'Charlie Hebdo' massacre, given that she is allegedly so passionate about 'free speech' and personal liberty.

Daniel

Intolerance is everywhere on the rise unfortunately but France in particular i've never thought as a tolerant country. I lived in Paris in the late 80's and i experienced lots of nastyness as a young gay man and a foreigner. Countrys like The Netherlands or Scandinavian countrys even Spain are way more liberal. But those places seem not to be in Madonnas universe because they don't have that fashion thing that Paris has.

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