“I happen to be an Arab and to look very much like one.”

A Bataclan survivor has penned an open letter to Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes in which he criticises Hughes’ recent accusations that some of the venue’s staff were in on the attack.

Hughes has suggested that some members of security “had a reason not to show up” on the night of November 13’s terrorist attack, which killed 89 people.

“Your comments reopened a nasty wound,” wrote survivor Ismael El Iraki on his Facebook page. “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.”

He continued: “As I said I live and breathe rock ‘n’ roll, and I could not look more Muslim if I tried. But apparently, the big bad Muslim conspiracy missed me. Damn, they forgot to warn me.”

El Iraki went on to praise the heroic actions of 35-year-old North African-born gig-goer Didi. “What pains me most is that you do not even realize that a huge number of us who managed to get out alive of this horrible ordeal owe our lives to a Muslim guy. His name is Didi and he opened the left front door most of us got out of. This guy did something that neither you, me, or anyone else I ever met would ever have done.”

“He turned back, and headed back in to save more people.”

“He was a fucking hero. An unarmed, red-blooded, real-life fucking hero that you just insulted with your racist, hateful comments,” he added.

“You say Islam is the problem. I say: “All you fucking bigots and your fairytale shit stories are the problem.” Read El Iraki’s open letter in full below.

Hughes said in February that he believed more people may have survived the attack had they been legally allowed to carry guns. “I know people will disagree with me, but it just seems like God made men and women, and that night guns made them equal.”

The Bataclan will reopen in November, with Pete Doherty set to headline the event.

Meanwhile, two French music festivals, Caberet Vert and Rock en Seine, have dropped Eagles of Death Metal from their line-ups following Hughes’ comments. [via the Guardian]



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