Husband Of Paris Attack Victim Sends Defiant Message To ISIS 1 / 26
The Huffington Post
© JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images People hold French flags during a vigil near the Survivor Tree at the 9/11 memorial in New York on November 16, 2015, for the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks. A series of coordinated attacks by g…
"I will not grant you the gift of my hatred."
That's what Antoine Leiris, a Parisian whose wife was killed in the Paris terrorist attacks on Friday, wrote in a powerful Facebook status three days after the tragedy. His wife, 35-year-old hair and makeup artist Helene Muyal-Leiris, was killed in the Bataclan concert hall on Friday, HuffPost France reported Monday. Muyal-Leiris leaves behind her husband and one 17-month-old son, Melvil.
Throughout his post, Leiris addresses an unnamed person or group of people in the second person. On Saturday, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, and French President Francois Hollande vowed a "merciless" response.
The post was translated from French, and edited for clarity:
YOU WILL NOT HAVE MY HATRED
Friday night, you took an exceptional life -- the love of my life, the mother of my son -- but you will not have my hatred. I don't know who you are and I don't want to know, you are dead souls. If this God, for whom you kill blindly, made us in his image, every bullet in the body of my wife would have been one more wound in his heart.
So, no, I will not grant you the gift of my hatred. You're asking for it, but responding to hatred with anger is falling victim to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be scared, to view my countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my liberty for my security. You lost.
I saw her this morning. Finally, after nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as when she left on Friday night, just as beautiful as when I fell hopelessly in love over 12 years ago. Of course I am devastated by this pain, I give you this little victory, but the pain will be short-lived. I know that she will be with us every day and that we will find ourselves again in this paradise of free love to which you have no access.
We are just two, my son and me, but we are stronger than all the armies in the world. I don't have any more time to devote to you, I have to join Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely 17-months-old. He will eat his meals as usual, and then we are going to play as usual, and for his whole life this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free. Because no, you will not have his hatred either.
As of Monday afternoon, over 35,000 people on Facebook had shared Leiris' post and over 100 had commented. Read the full entry in French.
Two mourners kiss outside the Bataclan concert hall, which was a site of last Friday's attacks, adorned with a banner reading "Freedom is a monument which can not be destroyed", in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. France is demanding security aid and assistance from the European Union in the wake of the Paris attacks and has triggered a never-before-used article in the EU's treaties to secure it.A woman weeps as she kneels near bouquets of flowers and burning candles at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, November 16, 2015, as people continue to pay tribute to the victims of the series of deadly attacks in the French capital on Friday.La Grande Roue on Concorde Place turns blue, white and red in honour of the victims of Friday's terrorist attacks, on November 16, 2015 in Paris, France. Countries across Europe joined France today to observe a one minute-silence in an expression of solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attacks, which left at least 129 people dead and hundreds more injured.The arch at Wembley stadium is lit in the colors of France's flag, and France's motto "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" emblazoned on Wembley stadium in north London, November 16, 2015. France and England's football teams will go ahead with a scheduled friendly soccer match at Wembley tomorrow. REUTERS/Paul Hackett TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYA couple look at the sails of the Sydney Opera House that are lit in the colors of the French flag in Sydney, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, following the terrorist attacks in Paris. French police are hunting for possible accomplices of assailants who terrorized Paris concert-goers, cafe diners and soccer fans in the country's deadliest peacetime attacks, a succession of explosions and shootings that cast a dark shadow over this luminous tourist destination. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)