June 19, 2018 / 4:18 PM

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Paris Bataclan Massacre Survivor Criticizes Eagles of Death Metal's Jesse Hughes



An Eagles of Death of Metal fan and survivor of the November 2015 Bataclan theatre massacre in Paris has drafted an open letter to EODM frontman Jesse Hughes criticizing the singer's recent comments insinuating venue staff were in collusion with the perpetrators.

Earlier this month, Hughes was interviewed by Taki's Magazine. Talking to writer Gavin McInnes, the musician referenced a Fox Business interview where he implied that Bataclan security were somehow forewarned of the impending shooting. Hughes elaborated on his assumption that the culpable terrorists were allowed inside the venue before the show by corroborating staff:

"I know for sure that they were in there early. I remember them staring at my buddy. I just chalked it up to Arab envy. You know what I mean? When a Muslim sees a cocky American dude with tattoos, he stares at him. ... There's no denying the terrorists were already inside, and they had to get in somehow. During the shooting ... the backstage door was propped open. How did that happen?"

Concert attendee Ismael El Iraki took exception with the artist's comments. Calling the article a "tacky Taki interview," the fan prefaced his retort with admiration for the singer-songwriter and the band's music. However, as he detailed in the letter -- posted on Facebook and picked up by The Guardian -- he refutes that concertgoing Arabs inside the venue were cooperators in a conspiracy:

"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[s] 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."

El Iraki further states that he couldn't "look more Muslim if [he] tried" and that he was not warned of the imminent attack. The letter goes on to pontificate that "rock 'n' roll is love" and accuses Hughes of abandoning that message and becoming a "spreader of hate."

The Paris attacks occurred on Nov. 13, 2015 and took the lives of 130 people, injuring another 368. Eighty-nine of those killed were of the approximately 1,500 attendees inside the Bataclan enjoying a performance by the Eagles of Death Metal. All members of the band survived; their merchandise manager, Nick Alexander, was killed. At the onset of the attack, the band were performing the song "Kiss the Devil" from their 2004 debut album, Peace, Love, Death Metal.

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