I just finished reading your tacky Taki interview and to tell you the truth, my heart is bleeding.
That's how Ismael El Iraki started his letter to the co-founder and frontman of Eagles of Death Metal (EODM), the rock band that was playing at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris the night Islamist terrorists opened fire on the audience, killing 89. El Iraki was there. A picture taken from the stage shows El Iraki in the foreground, wearing white-framed glasses.
El Iraki is a big EODM fan, and a recent interview the band's frontman Jesse Hughes did with the website Taki left him crushed. Particularly, the claim that Muslim security staff were in on the attack.
El Iraki says that belief hit him hard because, while it was Muslims who attacked the concert hall, it was also Muslims like him who were inside, and also a Muslim security guard named Didi who saved his life.
"He's a true life hero," El Iraki says. "He's a guy who, when he managed to get out, be in the streets — and we all dreamed of that street, of that outside — he was out, and he went back in. He went back in against all survival instinct, against everything that makes us animals. And he reached inside himself and pulled himself toward what can make us angels. This guy is a hero!"
Didi has been widely profiled in the wake of the attack, though he's always asked not to be identified with his last name.
"So this Muslim guy is exactly who Jesse is insulting with those comments in the interview. And I guess that's what really made me react. You have no right to insult a hero like that."
El Iraki doesn't know Didi. He just knows the man saved his life.
As for his letter, he doesn't want people to read it as a diss to Hughes. "I didn't write it to attack him. It's an open hand. I think the guy is hurting," he says. "It's easier to say it's the big bad Muslim conspiracy or it's aliens from another planet. But we live in the real world. Aliens do not exist. And explanations for something like this horror are very complex."
El Iraki isn't sure he'll hear back from Hughes. But he wants the band member to know the message came straight from his heart.
"I hope that — yeah. He's a human being. I'm a human being. We have a shitload of stuff in common. So why not just look at that? Why not look at all we have in common. All the good stuff."
We reached out to EODM, but the band declined to comment. In past interviews, Hughes has said he is struggling with PTSD. He's even apologized for some of his past remarks.
From PRI's The World ©2016 PRI