An Eagles of Death Metal fan who was present during the terrorist attacks at the Bataclan in Paris last year has penned an open letter to Jesse Hughes.
Hughes’s band was headlining the show in November 2015 where 89 people were killed.
Since then, Hughes has made several controversial comments in interviews. In one interview, he blamed France’s gun laws, and in another, he suggested that the security guards working at the Bataclan that night were in on the attack. Earlier this month, while speaking to Taki Magazine, Hughes repeated his criticism and also claimed that people were too afraid to speak out about terrorism in fear of seeming racist.
Now, Ismael El Iraki, who attended the Bataclan concert, has penned an open letter for The Guardian.
El Iraki writes: “I love your [band’s] music, your concerts mostly (such fun, wild shows) and man, I never thought that you would become one of those spreaders of fear. Fox News, Trump, all those guys. You always felt like a maverick, a rebel: we now know that you are not. We (and by that I mean the rebels, the mavericks, the rock crowd) always loved and defended you because you were a lovable fool and kind of a dumb f***, like the Three Stooges or Tex Avery’s wolf. You now proved your stupidity to be f***ing dangerous.”
He continues: “Your comments reopened a nasty wound. So you say the security crew was in on it and was warning every Arab they saw. See, as you can see on this picture some guy took at the scene a few minute before your show began, I happen to be an Arab and to look very much like one. I got a big black curly beard and the skin tone to match it. I also happen to live and breathe rock n’ roll. It is, my wife’s love aside, the single most important thing in my life. So of course, that warm November night, I was among the crowd at the Bataclan. Wasn’t gonna miss an Eagles of Death Metal concert, and it was only the first of eight rock shows I had lined up that week.”
“You say Islam is the problem. I say: “All you f***ing bigots and your fairytale s*** stories are the problem. Racism and refusal to recognize one another as complex (more complex than ethnicity or race can explain) human beings is the problem. Reducing others to what you think you know is the problem.”
“Just come back to the real spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, which is that a good rock show should make you wanna f*** or fight. Not rally a nasty conservative politician.”
Meanwhile, two French festivals have canceled Eagles of Death Metal’s scheduled performances. The notice, posted to Facebook, reads: “Being in total disagreement with Jesse Hughes’ recent allegations given in an interview with an american media, both Cabaret Vert & Rock en Seine festivals have decided to cancel the band’s performance. We thank you for your understanding.”