Frontman of “Eagles of Death Metal” whose November Paris concert was attacked, said Muslims at theatre celebrated, prompting cancellations. Gigs of Band in Paris cancelled after leader speaks out.
The band which was playing the Bataclan theater in Paris during the terrorist attack last November has had concerts cancelled after their frontman said he saw Muslims celebrating the attack.
Eagles of Death Metal saw two major rock festivals in France pull the group from their lineup this August after lead singer Jesse Hughes told an American magazine he thought Muslim staff at the Bataclan had assisted with the attack.
“I saw Muslims celebrating in the street during the attack. I saw it with my own eyes. In real time! How did they know what was going on? There must have been coordination,” Hughes said in the interview last week in Taki, a right-wing American magazine.
“As we are in total disagreement with Jesse Hughes’s recent allegations given in an interview with an American media [outlet], both Cabaret Vert and Rock en Seine festivals have decided to cancel the band’s performance,” the two festivals said in a joint statement.
It is completely unreasonable to expect a man who survived a horrific attack in which 90 people were killed to refrain from speculating over the nature of the assault which could have killed him. Just because the Bataclan theater disputes that staff at the Bataclan could have assisted in the attack, that doesn’t mean there is no possibility the terrorists had help.
Even if Muslim staff at the Bataclan specifically were involved in the attack, something we are not suggesting is true, that would still not mean that all Muslims were terrorists or that Islam is an evil religion or any such anti-Muslim theories. For Hughes to allege they might have been involved is evidence only that he is trying to make sense of what happened at his concert.
Yet it seems his comments have been taken to show he is beyond the pale of acceptable discourse and is to be treated as a pariah. The statement put out by the rock festivals showed no understanding of why he might be nervous about Muslims and Islam, especially those Muslims working at the Bataclan, following his traumatic experience
Instead the festivals sought to silence all discourse on the events in November.
If anyone has a right to speak openly about their fears regarding Islamist terrorism, it’s the victims of terror attacks. Silencing and penalizing Jesse Hughes and others from speaking about their experiences, rather than showing compassion and understanding, will only foster outrage and fan the flames of intercommunal hatred.