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Madonna Defends Use of Nazi Imagery

Pop star says symbols fit her message about 'the intolerance that we human beings have for one another'

Madonna performs during her MDNA Tour in London.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage
July 26, 2012 1:55 PM ET

Madonna has defended her use of Nazi imagery on her most recent European tour, saying that the use of such symbols fits her message about "the intolerance that we human beings have for one another," the New York Times reports.

Madonna drew fierce criticism from French National Front leader Marine Le Pen after the pop star superimposed a swastika over her forehead in a video montage that accompanies Madonna's performance of "Nobody Knows Me." Also included are images of Chinese leader Hu Jintao, Pope Benedict XVI, Sarah Palin, and – placed right after Le Pen – Adolf Hitler.

In response, the far right party said they would sue Madonna: "We cannot accept this insulting connection," said National Front vice president Florian Phillippot. "Marine Le Pen is defending her honour, but also that of party members and supporters and the millions of Front National voters."

The National Front has been calling for Madonna to change the clip since she debuted it during the first stop of her MDNA tour in Tel Aviv. Yet Madonna has not touched the video since the National Front's initial response and recent threat of legal action; she continues to use the montage as her tour rolls on.

In an interview with a Brazilian television journalist, Madonna went on to justify the use of the Nazi imagery, saying the song examines intolerance and "how much we judge people before knowing them.

"Music should be about ideas, right?" she added. "Ideas inspire music."

Madonna will continue to trek through Europe this summer. At the end of August her MDNA tour returns to the States, before she heads to South America in November. The singer recently canceled stops in Australia, which would have been the first time she played in the country in 20 years.

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