Bataclan survivor brands Jesse Hughes a ‘spreader of fear’

Jesse Hughes
Jesse Hughes (Image credit: Getty)

A Muslim survivor of last November’s terror attacks at the Bataclan in Paris has branded Eagles Of Death Metal mainman Jesse Hughes a “spreader of fear” after the frontman recently questioned security at the venue for a second time.

The band were onstage in November last year when extremist gunmen forced their way into the venue, massacring 89 people.

In March, Hughes suggested something was amiss with security on the night, and later apologised for his comments saying it was the result of trauma. But earlier this month, he again questioned security at the venue.

Now Ismael El Iraki, a Muslim and survivor of the Bataclan attacks, has branded Hughes “fucking dangerous.”

In an open letter to Hughes, Iraki says on Facebook: “I love your music, your concerts and I never thought you would become one of those spreaders of fear.

“You always felt like a maverick, a rebel – we now know that you are not. We always loved and defended you because you were a loveable fool and kind of a dumb fuck. You now proved your stupidity to be fucking dangerous.”

He continues: “You say the security crew was in on it and was warning every Arab they saw. I happen to be an Arab and look very much like one. 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. They forgot to warn me. They also forgot to warn Djamila, and all the other Arabs who got shot and killed. They forgot to warn my fellow Moroccan Amin, who was shot.”

Iraki urges Hughes to make his own enquiries into what happened that night, but adds: “I don’t think you will like what you discover, for it will certainly not fit your narrow-minded, boxed-in image of what a Muslim or an Arab can do.”

He says that a large number of Eagles Of Death Metal fans owe their lives to the actions of a Muslim called Didi, who helped numerous people out of the venue that night.

Iraki continues: “He opened the left front door, let a shitload of people out, and then, while he was safe and sound in the street outside – he went back in to save more people. He opened the upstairs exit and let a number of people out through there. He was a fucking hero. An unarmed, red-blooded, real-life fucking hero that you just insulted with your racist, hateful comments.

“Dude, don’t be like that. Just don’t. Don’t imagine you are facing that awful fundamentalist deathwave alone. Because this is the world we live in now, and we’re all in this shit together. Muslims and Arabs are caught up in it with you, they face dying a random, stupid death like you.

“Try to spread the love – the kind that sees right through people’s skin colours, religious shit and garments, the kind that can unite not only a concert crowd but hopefully a nation, a whole world. Come back to the real spirit of rock’n’roll, not rally a nasty conservative politician.”

Last week, French festivals Rock En Seine and Cabarey Vert pulled Eagles Of Death Metal from their summer bills because of Hughes’ recent outburst.

Opinion: Maybe it's time for Jesse Hughes to take a break

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.