Stellio Capo Chichi

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Capo Chichi in 2007.

Stellio Gilles Robert Capo Chichi (born December 9, 1981), better known by his pseudonym Kémi Séba (French language version of Egyptian for "black star"),[1] is a Black French activist and political leader. Jeune Afrique referred to him as "the French Farrakhan", linking him to the leader of the Nation of Islam in the United States (US).[2] Since April 2010 he is the head of the francophone branch of the United States-based New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.

Origin[edit]

Capo Chichi was born in Strasbourg to immigrant parents from Benin.[1][note 1] He joined the US-based Nation of Islam (NOI) as an eighteen-year-old, and later formulated his own ideology while visiting Egypt in his twenties.[3] As a result of this process, he took the nom de guerre Kémi Séba and became the spokesperson of the fringe Parti Kémite (Kemet Party), which was founded in 2002 and inspired by Khalid Abdul Muhammad.[4][5]

Tribu KA[edit]

In December 2004, Capo Chichi founded the Parisian political group Tribu KA, which promotes black identity and has been accused of racism against Jews.[6][7] The group said it followed the ideology of the American NOI leader, Louis Farrakhan.[8][9] They have also been described as proponents of a mix of antisemitic Kemetism and Guénonian Islam.[10] The group's name is an abbreviation for 'The Atenian Tribe of Kemet'.[5]

In a May 2006 demonstration, 20 or more Tribu Ka members marched along the Rue des Rosiers (in the Marais, a Jewish neighborhood) shouting antisemitic slogans and threatening pedestrians.[8][9][11] Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy sent a letter to Justice Minister Pascal Clément saying Tribu Ka could be indicted for racist incitement; SOS Racisme and the Union des étudiants juifs de France also called for Tribu Ka to be banned; and Clément opened an investigation.[6] The Ministry of Interior dissolved Tribu Ka on July 26, 2006, but it reformed in Sarcelles under the name Génération Kémi Séba.[12][6][7] During the trial of Youssouf Fofana, the leader of the ethnic gang Les Barbares that murdered Ilan Halimi, Capo Chichi had sent an intimidating e-mail message to various Jewish associations.[5]

Imprisonment[edit]

Capo Chichi was arrested in September 2006 for allegedly antisemitic posts on his website, and again in February 2007 after he called a public official "Zionist scum." After the initial court hearing in 2006, supporters chanted, "The judge is a Zionist, the client is a Zionist, the decision will be Zionist." In February 2007, a French court near Paris sentenced Capo Chichi, the self-described "militant defender of the dignity of French citizens," to five months imprisonment for criminal contempt of the law.[12][13] In April 2008, a Parisian court verdict determined Génération Kémi Séba was the reconstitution of the dissolved group Tribu Ka, and sentenced Capo Chichi to a one-year prison sentence with suspension.[14]

In June 2009, Brice Hortefeux, Minister of the Interior, ordered the dissolution of the group Jeunesse Kémi Séba, founded to replace Génération Kémi Séba.[15][16]

MDI[edit]

After his release from prison in July 2008, Capo Chichi announced that he had converted to Islam.[17] In March 2009, he became the secretary general of Mouvement des damnés de l'impérialisme (MDI, "Movement of Those Damned By Imperialism"). MDI retains close ties with the Shia paramilitary Lebanese-based group Hezbollah in their anti-Zionist campaigns.[18] In June 2009, MDI announced that Holocaust denier Serge Thion had joined the movement.[19]

New Black Panther Party[edit]

In April 2010, Malik Zulu Shabazz, leader of the US-based New Black Panther Party (NBPP), appointed Capo Chichi the party's representative in France and gave him the nom de guerre Kemiour Aarim Shabazz.[20] In July 2010, Capo Chichi left his position as the president of MDI but continued as the head of the francophone branch of NBPP.[21]

By 2011, Capo Chichi left France and settled in Senegal. In March 2011, it was announced that Capo Chichi was named the spokesman for Amadou Lamine Faye, the minister-counsellor in charge of Pan-Africanism under president Abdoulaye Wade. However, such nomination was later refuted.[22]

Connection with Dieudonné[edit]

Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, commonly known as Dieudonné, has become a controversial French comedian. For six years, he satirized numerous groups with his childhood Jewish friend and stage partner Elie Semoun. Since 2002, Dieudonné has often been accused of anti-Semitism and has appeared to move to the right politically, appearing with Jean-Marie Le Pen of the French National Front, for instance.[11] In 2006 Dieudonné allowed Kemi Séba to use his Theatre La Main d'Or, to hold meetings in which he "reportedly praised Hitler's ideas on race."[11] Dieudonné's office issued a statement noting his ideological distance from Séba, but he later that year allowed Séba to stage a show (titled Sarkophobia) in his theater.[11]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Another source says that Capo Chichi's parents were from Côte d'Ivoire and Haiti. Reiss, "Laugh Riots", The New Yorker, 2007 (see below.)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b «On me traite de nazi noir», Le Nouvel Observateur, 30 October 2008.
  2. ^ Qui est le Farrakhan français ?, Jeune Afrique, 31 July 2006
  3. ^ Andrew Hussey, "The Paris Intifada", Granta, vol. 104, subscribers only
  4. ^ Stephen Smith and Géraldine Faes, Noir et Français, 2006
  5. ^ a b c "Kémi Séba, la Tribu KA et le kémitisme", Le Racisme anti-blanc
  6. ^ a b c "Sarkozy visits Jewish neighborhood after threat from Black extremists". European Jewish Press. 2006-05-31. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  7. ^ a b "Leader of Black anti-Semitic group arrested in France". European Jewish Press. 2007-02-09. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  8. ^ a b Lichfield, John (2006-05-31). "French youths fight police and attack mayor's house". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  9. ^ a b Helene Fouquet, "Riots in Paris Suburbs Spark Fear of Violent Wave", Bloomberg, 30 May 2006, accessed 4 Dec 2010
  10. ^ "Le Weltanschauung de la Tribu Ka, Stéphane François, Damien Guillame, and Emmanuel Kreis
  11. ^ a b c d Tom Reiss, Letter from Paris: "Laugh Riots: The French star who became a demagogue", The New Yorker, 19 Nov 2007, accessed 4 Dec 2010
  12. ^ a b French gang leader sentenced[dead link] Jewish Telegraphic Agency
  13. ^ "Anti-Semitic black power leader in French court". European Jewish Press. 2006-09-19. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  14. ^ Tribu Ka: un an de prison avec sursis pour reconstitution de ligue dissoute
  15. ^ "Dissolution du groupuscule 'Jeunesse Kemi Seba'"
  16. ^ France - Dissolution of ""Jeunesse 'Kémi Séba" ("'Kémi Séba Youth"), The Coordinating Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism
  17. ^ Kémi Séba Musulman!!! Official website of Kémi Séba
  18. ^ Le MDI avec le Hezbollah contre le Sionism Official website of MDI
  19. ^ Serge Thion rejoint le MDI Official website of MDI
  20. ^ Kemi Seba nommé par le New Black Panther Party, basé à Washington, Ministre francophone Official website of MDI
  21. ^ Interview d’Hery Djehuty Sechat, nouveau Président du MDI Official website of MDI
  22. ^ Au Sénégal, un conseiller de Wade embauche Kémi Séba avant-de l'accuser de s'être servi de lui

External links[edit]